Navigation Links
25 years of DNA on the computer

DNA carries out its activities "diluted" in the cell nucleus. In this state it synthesises proteins and, even though it looks like a messy tangle of thread, in actual fact its structure is governed by precise rules that are important for it to carry out its functions. Biologists have studied DNA by observing it experimentally with a variety of techniques, which have only recently been supplemented by research in silico, that is to say, the study of DNA by means of computer simulations. This is a recent area of study, but it has already given a major contribution to knowledge in this field. Angelo Rosa, a theoretical physicist of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, with the collaboration of Christophe Zimmer, an experimental physicist from the Pasteur Institute in Paris has assessed the state of the art of this novel but powerful approach in a systematic review that has just been published in the journal International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology.

"Apart from some rare exceptions, we reviewed virtually all of the models developed to date", explains Rosa. "The review is mainly aimed at biologists in that we have made minimal use of mathematical formulas which hamper reading. I think this is the first review of its kind. The paper is actually also interesting for physicists and mathematicians who are approaching this new field for the first time".

The two physicists reviewed 25 years of computational models: "in this relatively short time span the models have become increasingly sophisticated and this, thanks to the development of computers", explains Rosa. "Today we are able to make far more detailed and predictive simulations, which allow us to lead the work of experimental researchers in previously unthought-of directions".

"This is a useful tool which, without going into mathematical detail, provides the biologist with an overview of the type of studies that will increasingly complement the more traditional approaches" continues Rosa. "Today, for example, we already have software programmes which, starting from experimental data, allow us to reconstruct the structure of specific portions of chromosomes. I think that if computers continue to evolve as they have done until now and there's no reason to doubt this we'll be able to reconstruct entire chromosomes".

"At the present time, the future prospects of in silico research into nuclear DNA are twofold", concludes Rosa, "to understand in detail the dynamics of gene expression (the details of protein synthesis) and to identify precisely where the chromosomes are when DNA unravels in the nucleus".


Contact: Federica Sgorbissa
International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Related biology news :

1. Oceans acidifying faster today than in past 300 million years
2. Ice sheet collapse and sea-level rise at the Boelling warming 14,600 years ago
3. 50 years of bird poop links DDT with changing bird menus
4. UH makes Princeton Reviews Green List 3 years in a row
5. Global warming has driven Europes mountain plants to migrate 2.7 meters upwards in 7 years
6. Jurassic pain: Giant flea-like insects plagued dinosaurs 165 million years ago
7. Scientists read the ash from the Icelandic volcano 2 years after its eruption
8. Special issue of the EMBO Journal celebrates 30 years of Wnt research
9. 10 million years to recover from mass extinction
10. Development of prosthetic hands stagnated for 20 years
11. Over 30 years of global soil moisture observations for climate applications
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
25 years of DNA on the computer
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Paris Police ... video security solution to ensure the safety of people and ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international technology ... services, announced today that its video security solution will be ... back up public safety across the country. The system roll-out ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... just published their findings on what they believe could be a new and ... of the new research. Click here to read it now. , ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... a mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare ... development and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Liquid Biotech USA , Inc. ... Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ("PENN") ... patients.  The funding will be used to assess ... outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety of ... to support the design of a therapeutic, decision-making ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range ... place between the two entities said Poloz. Speaking ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s inflation ... federal government. "In ... "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit down ...
Breaking Biology Technology: