Monday, August 25, 2008

Systems Biology

In a recent perspective in Science, Bryan Roth reviews a book assessing the promise of studying neuronal signal transduction pathways.  The article outlines two chapters to give a deeper sense of the overall tone and purpose of this venture.  The authors' aim is to look at multiple discrete molecular entities and how their alterations leads to pathological conditions. By discovering what has gone awry, one can then begin to develop experimental therapies to rectify these alterations. This book seems to be an product of the emerging field of systems biology. This new multidisciplinary approach  starts at the level of a pathological condition, tries to understand the affected system and then move on down to discovering the molecular mechanisms at play. A slew of  biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers and clinicians are becoming involved in this collaborative field to make sense of the enormous pile of data being generated by the new omic research paradigms; genomics proteomics, metabolomics, etc. This trend towards colloborative multdiscpilanry fields seems to be the most promising method of further our understanding of diseases and developing new   and increasingly effective treatments.

Link to Science article

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