What can we expect from the relationship between genetic code reading and computational biology?
Computational biology as a relatively new interdiscipline was practically created through an ambitious project focused on revealing DNA sequences and deciphering the human genome. Today this interdiscipline is a must in the development of biochemistry and medicine and especially in the new, efficient treatments of tumors.
The project of reading human genome is one of the most comprehensive research projects in the field of bio-medicine. This colossal research began in 1990 and lasted for 13 years. In this time, the team of scientists behind this project has found about 30.000 different human genes. In order to come up with this result, the team has used the most powerful supercomputer from the US Department of Energy which made more than 1012 calculations and performed over 20.000 hours of continuous computing.
The project has bridged the gap between medicine and powerful computers and opened a new page of medical research and the development of technological innovations that primarily served for better understanding of the functioning of the body and human health.
By using information and communication high technologies in medicine and biology today, it is possible to observe, measure, understand and manage numerous physiological and biochemical process on a molecular level. The discovering of DNA and the attempts to understand the genetic code became available thanks to the sophisticated computer programs for sequential analysis. One of the key insights that resulted from this project is that the complex biochemical processes in an organism can be explained through a variety of complex mathematical models. The functioning of biological systems follows regular patterns that can be defined and explained with the help of complex mathematical functions and adequate methods of observation. In other words, high technology and the development of the bio-medical sciences have resulted in more successful reading of the genetic code and gene mutation.
International cooperation in the field of computational biology
The reading of the genetic code has allowed a completely new scientific approach in the field of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. In 2008, we have witnessed the start of a major International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) project which has gathered scientific teams from dozens of countries from around the globe to study the specificity of genetic records of more than 50 different types of tumors. One of the teams is at the end of the process of deciphering the genetic basis and mutation in cases of breast cancer. A scientific team from the UK was able to read the genetic matrix and learn more about the genetic mutations which come as a result of the transformation of healthy cells into lung tumors. Another team of American scientists is trying to resolve the mystery that surrounds genetic mutations in cases of brain cancer.
New technology and its impact on computational biology
The development of biosciences requires constant renewal of lab equipment and devices, in accordance with the fast development of high technology, but also with the need for maintaining world standards of excellence. For instance, Finland has established a comprehensive national network of their overall research infrastructure, devices and equipment, so the scientists from the entire country can get access to certain lab procedures, measurements and devices located in one central location.This is a good way to use this expensive and rare equipment rationally.
There is no doubt that computational biology will speed up the research in the field of DNA readings and many experts believe that this activity is crucial when it comes to finding the cure for cancer.