Navigation Links
Road mapping could be key to curing TB
Date:2/5/2010

The complex chain of metabolic events in bacteria that lead to fatal diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) may be better understood using mathematical models, according to an article published in the February issue of Microbiology Today.

Scientists at the University of Surrey are using this new 'systems biology' approach to try and understand the metabolic changes that occur in the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis which allow it to survive dormant in host cells for decades. A more complete knowledge of these changes could allow new drugs to be developed against such 'persistent' bacterial cells, which in turn would revolutionise TB control.

The classic approach to understanding biological functions in mammals and microbes alike has been based on the assumption that a single gene is primarily responsible for a single function - which can be inhibited by simply blocking the gene. This gene-centric approach has led to huge breakthroughs in scientific understanding of cellular processes, but is less useful for understanding complex functions such as metabolism. In this case, blocking a single gene does not impair function because other genes in the network are able to compensate to maintain that function. This suggests it may be more realistic to assume that many genes are likely to have minor roles in any number of functional pathways.

Professor Johnjoe McFadden who works on TB at the University of Surrey likens metabolic pathways in cells to Britain's road network. "For example, we may identify a particular road, say the A45, that takes goods from Birmingham to Coventry and call it the BtoC road - or BtoC gene," he said. "Blocking the A45 might be expected to prevent goods from Birmingham reaching Coventry. But of course it doesn't because there are lots of other ways for the goods to get through. In truth, the 'road' (or gene) from BtoC isn't just the A45, but includes all those other routes."

A good starting point to study functional pathways is a mathematical model of the cell that takes into account the system properties of the whole network, rather than focussing on key control points. Professor McFadden explains how microbes are well suited to this systems-level approach. "Microbes have fewer genes to interact with each other making computational modelling simpler. Also, unlike multicellular organisms, microbes are able to precisely control their growth. This 'steady-state growth' is an important assumption that mathematical models are based on."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Udakis
l.udakis@sgm.ac.uk
44-118-988-1843
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Language centers revealed, brain surgery refined with new mapping
2. Mapping tool allows emergency management personnel to visually track resources
3. Mapping of prostate cancer genes opens the door to new treatments
4. Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. Davids Medical Center First in the Nation to Use a New Generation of Medical Robots for Complex Electrophysiology Mapping Procedures
5. First-Ever Mapping of Cancer Patients Genome
6. Deep brain mapping to isolate evidence of Gulf War syndrome
7. Global Mapping Tool Demonstrates Medical Donation Impact
8. UH research team developing new noninvasive brain-mapping technology
9. Elsevier and Brain Mapping Foundation co-host 6th Annual World Congress of IBMISPS
10. Elekta Chosen to Deliver Sophisticated Brain Mapping Technology to the Mind Research Network
11. Mapping gene expression with Gene Expression Atlas
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... At its annual ... Patrick McDermott as Chairman of the National Board of Directors. Mr. McDermott succeeds former ... the Board,” stated Leslie A. Chambers , APDA President and CEO. “Pat has ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Dr. Ben Amini, a San ... welcoming orthodontist, Dr. Amanda Cheng, to the practice. With the addition of services ... including general dentistry, cosmetic treatments, periodontics, implant dentistry , endodontics, orthodontics and ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Health and wellness is a topic ... in the event they are experiencing an illness. Migraines are a severe form of ... afflicted with migraines would not wish the pain on their worst enemy, the feeling ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Calls Blacklist has ... completely new user interface design and the developer has fixed known bugs within the ... want to on their phone while not consuming any of their device’s battery power ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Susan Polk Health Insurance Company recently ... expect to see in 2016. To view the report, see below, or visit ... many San Luis Obispo seniors who rely on Medicare health insurance and whose monthly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Obstetrics Partnering ... company profile to their offering. --> ... of the "Global Obstetrics Partnering 2010-2016: ... profile to their offering. --> ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 Worldwide Radiology Oncology surgical robot ... next generation systems provide a way to improve ... surgery. New systems pinpoint the delivery of radiation ... such a problem previously, limiting the quantity of ... cancer surgery far beyond what has been available, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Montoya Love is recognized by Continental Who,s Who as ... is the Regulatory Systems Operations Manager with Becton ... Manufacturing and selling a broad range of medical ... institutions, clinical laboratories and life science researchers with the ... An ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: