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PD map: Putting together the pieces of the Parkinson's puzzle
Date:10/23/2013

ed a number of similar virtual maps of complex molecular processes and have extensive experience with the systematic analysis and mapping of existing knowledge. The LCSB was able to build on this experience and has put together a similar map, albeit of a complex disease.

Marek Ostaszewski sums up the most important benefit of the PD Map: "By uniting the existing knowledge about PD, the map sheds light on the connections between pieces of the puzzle nobody had thought existed - and which will form the basis for brand new research hypotheses." To the biological scientists the PD Map helps pinpoint the gaps in our current understanding of Parkinson's. Adds Ostaszewski: "We can more accurately identify pathological mechanisms that are incompletely understood and where more scientific work is needed. On this basis, research hypotheses can be established and verified by highly focused laboratory experiments." Prof. Dr. Rudi Balling, director of LCSB, says: "For us at the LCSB but also for many other research institutes, the map offers many impulses for further scientific investigation. There's a genuine interest on the part of the scientific community; other research institutes should benefit from it, and at the same time contribute their own expertise." An important area, where the map needs to reach out is clinical research. LCSB's efforts in this direction are greatly supported by the IBBL (Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg). Marek Ostaszewski says: "IBBL brings in invaluable expertise in developing and providing technologies as well as infrastructures for clinical science. Additionally IBBL enormously facilitates the dialogue between basic researchers and clinicians".

Of course, the contents of this recently established overview must remain fresh, and suitable tools need to be developed to integrate newly gained knowledge into the map. To Ostaszewski, the obvious solution is crowd sourcing. The basic idea is similar to how Wikipedia works: an online portal
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Contact: Sabine Mosch
sabine.mosch@uni.lu
352-466-644-6423
University of Luxembourg
Source:Eurekalert  

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