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A fingerprint for genes
Date:3/5/2010

oscopy, multi-parametric image analysis and computing power," reports Zerial. In the end, they had accumulated over two-and-a-half million images that needed to be analysed. This staggering volume of data could only be managed with a supercomputer, which was possible by the team's cooperation with the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing (ZIH) at TU Dresden. A computer would have taken more than four million hours just to analyse the images to produce statistically reliable data. "But the incredible tour de force did more than bring significant new findings. It was also necessary as a means of providing a starting point for using this technology more efficiently and inexpensively in the future," says Zerial.

The next step will be to test the successful screening programme on primary cells or on model organisms simulating human disease conditions. This is when its true potential for drug development will be revealed. Ivan C. Baines, Director of Services and Facilities at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, outlines the future of the project: "If we can distinguish drug toxicity as a separate activity from drug efficacy, as is suggested by the quantitative profiling approach of this study, then we may be able to discover better drugs with fewer side effects."


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Contact: Marino Zerial
zerial@mpi-cbg.de
49-351-210-1100
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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