Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The promise of personalized medicine

08.09.2004


A new technology developed by scientists at IBM could bring the promise of personalized medicine one step closer to reality.

Using a basic computer language, the researchers created a "smart" DNA stream that contains a patient’s entire medical record, according to a report in the upcoming Oct. 11 print edition of the Journal of Proteome Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The report was published online July 22.

With the advent of the genomic revolution, scientists are avidly seeking correlations between human disease and the architecture of individual genes. Parsing this huge amount of data could eventually lead to "personalized medicine," some researchers say, allowing doctors to prescribe the right drug at the right dose for the right person, based on unique variations in their DNA. But to achieve this potential, scientists need a way to store and efficiently transmit whole sequences of patient DNA with built-in privacy -- a hurdle that has yet to be overcome, according to the authors.



Enter IBM’s Genomic Messaging System (GMS). GMS provides a basic computer language that can be inserted into DNA sequences to bridge the gap between patient medical records and genetic information, says lead author of the paper, Barry Robson, Ph.D., a chemist at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

The stream of information transmitted is basically a "smart" DNA sequence containing a patient’s entire medical record in compressed form as well as genetic information. The DNA stream could potentially even house images like MRIs and X-rays. "It is a stream of DNA symbols -- GATTACAGATTACA -- with GMS language inserted at appropriate points," Robson says. The inserted language can be used to annotate the DNA, to link to relevant medical data, and to control the privacy of selected sequences with passwords, among others.

Such a universal medical record could help doctors create individualized prescriptions and treatment regimens, precisely tailored for each patient, Robson predicts. "GMS links archives of digital patient records to enable analysis of those records by a variety of bioinformatic and computational biology tools," says Robson. These tools include data mining to discover unexpected relationships, large-scale epidemiological studies and three-dimensional modeling of patient proteins to study the effect of "SNiPs" -- single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Scattered throughout the human genome are millions of one-letter variations in genetic code known as SNiPs. Most are harmless, but some SNiPs provide crucial information, because they can help pinpoint the location of genes that might influence certain diseases.

GMS also provides platforms for respecting the privacy and security of a patient, including a flexible system of passwords that releases only selected parts of the patient’s DNA sequences to different researchers. And since future applications might include medical emergencies, the system has been designed to continue operation even in the event of a disaster by providing a transient backup.

GMS is still in the early stages of development, but in an initial study it successfully modeled SNiPs in proteins from a real patient record. The test, which is one of the first proofs of a fully automated system for personalized medicine, focused on finding and designing a drug that would regulate the rejection of bone marrow in a transplant patient.

Also in earlier research, Robson and his coworkers demonstrated their system’s ability to mine patient data for interesting correlations, such as the connection between a pancreatitis disease and a scorpion bite.

Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Researchers achieve HD video streaming at 10,000 times lower power
20.04.2018 | University of Washington

nachricht An AI that makes road maps from aerial images
18.04.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>