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Welcom to the Next Level: Graduating from Genomic To Poteomic Modeling

Normally, if a sci/tech story has already been published on Slashdot before I can post it here, I don't post it here (that happens a lot, by the way--and even more often, Slashdot posts on a story after I have done the same.) However, in some cases, the story is simply too important to ignore. For example, there's this article:

Predictive Modeling of Signaling Crosstalk during C. elegans Vulval Development, which presents research results that indicate we're now "going to the next level" in our ability to model biology computationally. We've been modeling biology at the level of genes and amino acids for quite some time now. The next level above that would be the ability to model proteins and protein-based biochemical messaging pathways as a system of inter-operating machines. That's what the above-referenced article is about. Quoting the abstract:

Here, we have developed a dynamic computational model incorporating the current mechanistic understanding of gene interactions during this patterning process. A key feature of our model is the inclusion of multiple modes of crosstalk between the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and LIN-12/Notch signaling pathways, which together determine the fates of the six vulval precursor cells (VPCs). Computational analysis, using the model-checking technique, provides new biological insights into the regulatory network governing VPC fate specification and predicts novel negative feedback loops. In addition, our analysis shows that most mutations affecting vulval development lead to stable fate patterns in spite of variations in synchronicity between VPCs.

Welcome to the next level.

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