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{bio,medical} informatics

Thursday, December 14, 2000

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find related articles. powered by google. The New York Times First Complete Plant Genetic Sequence Is Determined
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"Scientists from the United States, Europe and Japan have determined the first complete genetic sequence of a plant, an accomplishment that should deepen understanding of plant biology and provide new ways to genetically engineer crops to increase food production and improve nutrition.

The plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, is a diminutive weed that is related to the mustard plant and is worthless as a crop. But it is quickly becoming the laboratory mouse of the plant world, studied for insights that can be applied to virtually all other plants."

""There's thousands of applications coming down the pipeline," said Chris Somerville, director of the department of plant biology at the Carnegie Institution, professor at Stanford University and an early organizer of the sequencing project. "Our goal — and I say we're going to reach it in the next decade — is to understand plants like little machines. And we're going to use it to do real engineering."
find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet Journals war unleashes Arabidopsis genome
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"Corn geneticist Virginia Walbot of Stanford, who wrote the Nature News and Views, emphasized in an interview that the project was the second example of how well an international collaboration could function, the first being the C. elegans project.

"So now there are two models for doing Big Biology and Big Science in a collaborative, cooperative mode rather than the competitive mode," she said. Walbot also praised Cereon Genomics for its decision last summer to freely share its database of A. thaliana SNPs and other polymorphisms. "That's another model for how industry can derive proprietary information but also share data with academic scientists in order to speed things up.""

find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet Green genome
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"The genomes of yeast, worms, bacteria, fruit flies, and humans are complete or nearly complete. Now the plant Arabidopsis thaliana joins the list. This small member of the mustard family is a favorite of botanists. It has been used as a model organism for years. Knowledge of the plant’s complete genome will allow scientists to extend what they have learned about Arabidopsis to other plants. As with all genome projects, the next big step will be to figure out what the proteins encoded by the newly described genes do.

Reference: The Arabidopsis Genome Initiative. 2000. Analysis of the genome sequence of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature 408(6814):796–815."

redux [05.31.00]
find related articles. powered by google. BBC Scientists plan a virtual plant
"A group of plant scientists are calling for a project to understand the biological machinery of a plant in enough detail so that they could construct a 'virtual' plant. "

"The effort is called Project 2010 because by 2010 plant researchers hope to construct a complete "wiring diagram" of all the biological pathways of Arabidopsis.

Dr Chory said, "Ultimately, we hope to create a 'clickable plant.' We want to be able to go to our computers and click on a cell type and understand all the protein-protein interactions."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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