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200 thousand dollars awarded to genomics researchers to spark new research technology development
Date:11/10/2011

roscopy and precision robotic control will permit a researcher to operate it with a few clicks of a computer mouse. Many of the difficult and time consuming steps, previously only able to be done by highly trained professionals, will be removed by making the process automated, while ensuring accuracy and success rates. The prototype will be developed over a period of 12 months.

Dr Andrei Yudin, University of Toronto, will develop a novel technology to rapidly identify small cyclic protein fragments that can be used as cell-permeable probes of protein function and potentially aid the development of a new class of therapeutic agents.

This builds on an increase in interest around therapeutic agents that are peptides and proteins, as opposed to traditional drugs which are small chemical molecules. Peptides and proteins are made of up amino acids, which humans naturally have, and thus are less likely to cause unwanted side effects when used as therapeutic agents. The challenge with using peptides and proteins is that they are not stable for long periods of time in the bloodstream and do not readily enter cells, where they need to exert their action. The novel technology the Yudin group will develop is designed to overcome these challenges.

Dr. Brendan Frey and Dr. Benjamin J. Blencowe, University of Toronto, are developing a new internet-accessible portal that medical researchers can use to study how DNA mutations affect RNA splicing and the genetic determinants of diseases.

Building on earlier work where they developed a tool for predicting tissue-dependent splicing and associated genomic regulatory features, this project will result in better understanding of the involvement of alternative splicing processes and regulation on human disease for the scientific community, and will benefit the biology and medical communities by making available a catalogue of novel functional sites and combinations of RNA features, whi
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Contact: Alastair Harris-Cartwright
aharriscartwright@ontariogenomics.ca
416-673-6582
Ontario Genomics Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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