5th round table

April 19, 2013

Microbial ME[GT]Agenomics: computational methods for big data from small cells
Thomas Rattei, Computational Systems Biology, University of Vienna

Bioinformatics driven biomarker discovery
Edit Tukacs, Astrid Bioscience GmbH

 

Microbial ME[GT]Agenomics: computational methods for big data from small cells
Thomas Rattei, Computational Systems Biology, University of Vienna

Microbial life is populating many different habitats (including ourselves – the human body) on earth. Many of these habitats exhibit an unseen diversity of microorganisms, of which most cannot be grown in the lab using cultivation techniques. By applying high-throughput sequencing of DNA and RNA to environmental samples, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequences have revolutionized microbiology and microbial ecology during the last years and allow for an understanding of environmental communities on the molecular level.

This talk surveys the major computational methods necessary to process, analyse and interpret these sequences. The talk will discuss how to estimate taxonomic diversity in metagenomic and metatranscriptomic samples and how to predict the function and taxonomy of environmental sequences. Finally, the perspectives of upcoming new sequencing and single-cell techniques not only on environmental genomics, but also to studying microbial populations will be discussed.

  

Bioinformatics driven biomarker discovery
Edit Tukacs, Astrid Bioscience GmbH

Patients of a particular disease who possess the same symptoms may respond differently to the same treatment. Recognizing the fact that it is the patients’ diverse genetic makeups that can be held responsible for this dissimilarity in response fundamentally changed our views of diseases and the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures required for their treatment.

Classification of patients in clinical practice occurs through identifying biomarkers. Biomarkers can be used for screening conditions, creating diagnosis, predicting and monitoring the progress of the disease and possibly the effectiveness of a therapy and may also serve as therapeutical targets. Pharmaceutical enterprises are starting to move away from the classic blockbuster drug strategy and turn towards the approach of personalized medicine. Biomarkers adoptable for therapeutic targets are the foundations for rational drug development.