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Mathematical models reveal how organisms transcend the sum of their genes
Date:2/6/2009

>The work has many potential applications. Understanding how to control the virus's growth and infectivity will help guide efforts to develop VSV as a cancer-targeting agent and create vaccines against more problematic viruses such as HIV-1 and influenza.

The models can also be used to investigate the genetic basis of other viral characteristics. For example, Yin is currently working to simulate drug effects on a virus to look for ways the virus can evolve drug resistance.

Ultimately he hopes his approach will scale up to more complex organisms with more complex genomes. For example, the completion of the Human Genome Project has inspired hopes of understanding how a person's genome determines their biology.

The era of such "predictive biology" is a long way off yet, Yin says, but the ability to identify key elements of genetic organization and regulation are a critical early step. "This establishes a foundation for linking a genome to developmental processes and ultimately to phenotypes or behavior of biological systems," he says.


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Contact: John Yin
yin@engr.wisc.edu
608-265-3779
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

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