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 New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>