Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diving Deeper into the Gene Pool

28.09.2010
TAU develops innovative software to analyze and manipulate diseased cells

About ten years ago, the discovery of microRNAs — tiny cellular molecules that regulate our genetic code — unlocked a world of scientific possibilities, including a deeper understanding of human disease.

One new analytical technology is "deep sequencing," which gives scientists the ability to discover invaluable information about human diseases at a genetic level. Now, Tel Aviv University researchers have developed the cutting-edge technology to better analyze these results.

The software, called miRNAkey, was developed by Roy Ronen as part of a team of researchers headed by Dr. Noam Shomron of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Shomron says that miRNAkey searches for microRNA patterns in both healthy and diseased tissues, improving scientists’ understanding of the data collected from deep sequencing technology.

The software package was recently described in the journal Bioinformatics.

Making sense of microRNA patterns

Deep sequencing is used to determine the ultimate sequence and expression of cellular DNA or RNA. Once these molecules are extracted, scientists must be able to read the valuable information that the data supplies. Among these are the entire human genome sequence, the expression of the genes from the genome, and the molecules, such as microRNA, which regulate genetic expression. In short, it allows biologists to see further into human genetics and determine where and when genetic malfunctions might occur.

Until now there were very few unified codes that could interpret what information the microRNA held, and none that could run on a local computer or explain ambiguous microRNA behaviors. The solution is the miRNAkey program, says Dr. Shomron. It is designed to identify the relevant microRNA molecule, determine its level, then generate statistically valuable information from it.

"Such identification of microRNAs allows us to manipulate them," Dr. Shomron explains. One example of this potential manipulation is the alteration of malignant tumors. In one study Dr. Shomron and his team of researchers were able to identify the relevant microRNA molecules in an aggressive malignant form of cancer. They then inserted the healthy, non-aggressive form of these microRNAs into the diseased, aggressive molecule. In an animal model, this resulted in a significant slowing of tumor growth.

Results right to the computer screen

With his software, says Dr. Shomron, data obtained from deep sequencing can be quickly and correctly analyzed, allowing scientists to take a deeper look into disease behavior and potentially build specialized treatments with this knowledge. It may also encourage the creation of "smart drugs" which target individual damaged cells.

With a user-friendly interface, miRNAkey can be used on any local computer alongside the proper deep sequencing technology. Unique features such as data statistics and detailed reports provide valuable information about extracted microRNA, notes Dr. Shomron.

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>