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 'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone
14.08.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic
14.08.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>