Navigation Links
Could Dr. House be replaced by a computer?
Date:10/16/2008

Scientists know that different normal and diseased tissues behave differently. But a method that tells them just how they do so may one day give medical science a new way to fight obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other dangerous disorders of the metabolism.

Until now, scientists had to rely on basic observations at the cellular level, since they lacked information about the metabolic processes of individual organs, such as the liver, heart and brain.

But a new computational approach developed by computer scientists Tomer Shlomi, Moran Cabili and Prof. Eytan Ruppin from the Blavatnik School of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University may help science gain a clearer overall picture of the metabolic processes in our different tissues. Their model could be potentially used in the future to refine the diagnosis of various metabolic-related disorders, aid in treatment and develop new drugs. The results of their research were recently reported in the prestigious journal Nature Biotechnology.

Between Healthy and Diseased Tissues Lies the Answer

The model integrates tissue-specific information from healthy or diseased organs and matches it to an existing model of the global human metabolic network to predict metabolic tissue behavior. Their results, shared with Markus Herrgard and Bernhard Palsson from the University at San Diego, "establish a computational basis for the genome-wide study of normal and abnormal human metabolism in a tissue-specific manner," says Prof. Ruppin.

The computational model describes metabolism in ten different human tissues, exposing the functions in the body responsible for metabolism a set of chemical reactions occurring in living organisms that allows tissues to grow, maintain their structures, and function and respond to other bodily cues. And while the research published focuses on ten specific tissues, the tool can be expanded and applied to other tissues, then potentially to entire organs.

"The previous model of human metabolism was a generic one, which did not describe how the metabolism of different tissues work," says Shlomi. "Now we can provide large scale descriptions as to how tissues metabolize different compounds and how metabolism actually works in individual organs like the heart, liver, brain or pancreas."

Towards Computerized Disease Diagnosis

Building on these results, the Tel Aviv University team are now working on developing tools for the discovery of biomarkers (metabolites that can be measured in the blood and urine) that are associated with different diseases. The team is developing computational methods for identifying novel metabolic biomarkers that may be used for diagnosing an array of genetic metabolic disorders (including such disorders with relatively higher incidence in Jewish populations such as G6PD and Tay-Sachs).

More generally, this basic research provides scientists with important knowledge of the metabolism of different body tissues and organs. The consequences of this endeavour and its basic motivation is to help drug developers as they explore new drug targets. The current research is at the basic science level, but such research may lead to unforeseen applications.

Today's cancer-fighting drugs, for example, kill both cancerous and healthy cells. When more becomes known about the metabolism of cancer in different tissues via a combination of experimental and computational studies of the kind described in the research, then hopefully more effective and targeted drugs could be built, says Prof. Ruppin.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Sensitive laser instrument could aid search for life on Mars
2. Herbicide-resistant grape could revitalize Midwest wine industry
3. Researchers design artificial cells that could power medical implants
4. Discovery of natural compounds that could slow blood vessel growth
5. So-called sandfish could help materials handling and process technology specialists
6. UNC study on properties of carbon nanotubes, water could have wide-ranging implications
7. Nanodiamond drug device could transform cancer treatment
8. Research about plant viruses could lead to new ways to improve crop yields
9. Saliva proteins could help detection of oral cancer
10. Vitiligo skin disorder could yield clues in fight against melanoma
11. Longevity, cancer and diet connected: New research in worms could apply to humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Could Dr. House be replaced by a computer?
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016 On Monday, the Department of Homeland ... share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request ... Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics ... the United States , in order to deter ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... LONDON , June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transport Management) von Nepal ... ,Angebot und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich ... weltweit führend in der Produktion und Implementierung ... an der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: AXON ... treatment of dementia, today announced that data on the ... disease will be presented at the 2016 Clinical Trials ... 2016 in San Diego . Intepirdine ... and complex measures of activities of daily living (ADLs) ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016 According to ... by Products (Consumable, Instruments, Automated Cell Expansion System), ... Stem Cell Research, Cancer, and Cell-Based Research), End-users ... - Global Revenue, Trends, Growth, Share, Size and ... the global cell expansion market is expected to ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of Jain ... Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... development of sequencing technologies, and their applications. Current large and ... Various applications of sequencing are described including those for genetics, ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and ... 4, 2016 SystemOne, a company focused ... platforms for the developing world, and Daktari Diagnostics, ... reality with its portable and ultrasensitive immunoassay-based CarePlatform™, ... development and license agreement to integrate Daktari,s technology ...
Breaking Biology Technology: