Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Full promise of genomics in disease research yet to be realized

06.08.2004


Over the past decade genomics has revolutionized our understanding of how microorganisms cause disease. However, genomic studies need to be extended to a more diverse array of microorganisms and research tools improved to gain additional insights into pathogenesis, according to a new report released by the American Academy of Microbiology.

Genomic studies have placed a comprehensive understanding of pathogenesis in sight, but much work lies ahead, according to the report, The Genomics of Disease-Causing Organisms: Mapping a Strategy for Discovery and Defense. The report is based on the findings of a colloquium convened by the Academy in Key Largo, Florida, in November 2003. Professionals in the fields of genomics, bacteriology, virology, eukaryotic microbiology, medicine, clinical diagnostics, bioinformatics and forensics participated in discussions on the recent advancements in the field and the outlook for future research.

"Genomics has had a profound and lasting impact on the study of pathogens and disease, to the extent that it is difficult to imagine what the science would be like today in the absence of genomics," says Richard J. Roberts, Chair of the Colloquium Steering Committee. "Today a genome sequence is the first priority when investigating an emerging infectious disease, and vaccines and therapies are often designed straight from the genome."



Since the first completed genome of a pathogenic bacterium was announced in 1995, over 100 bacterial pathogens and over 1,000 viruses have been sequenced. These genomes have led to revolutions in disease research. For example, genome data can help to globally track and identify existing and new diseases, such as in the case of SARS. Genomics has identified the genetic signatures that today are being used in bioforensics to allow authorities to investigate cases of suspected bioterrorism. Some of the recent drugs in the arsenal against AIDS were designed using information from the HIV genome.

Certain themes have emerged from the analyses of pathogen genome sequences and the possibility exists that a "common thread" genetic sequence may be found linking pathogens of wildly different species, says the report. Finding such a "Rosetta Stone" of pathogenesis could ultimately expedite disease control and prevention.

For continuing progress the report specifically recommends greatly increasing the library of genomes to include not only more pathogenic microorganisms but also sequences of their hosts, nonpathogenic relatives, and a diverse array of unrelated microorganisms. All are needed to complete the picture of pathogenesis and provide a framework for understanding disease.

Additionally, the most important tools in genomics are inadequate, says the report. Improvements are especially needed in annotation methodologies and sequence databases.

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asm.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>