Mathematical Challenges in Molecular Biology
Speaker: Bonnie Berger , MIT/ Math Dept-CSAILContact:
Date: April 26 2004
Time: 11:30AM to 1:00PM
Host: P Clote/ BC & B Berger/ MIT/ Math Dept-CSAIL
Kathleen Dickey, 617 253 3037, email@example.comRelevant URL:
Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology and high throughput structural genomics
initiatives have led to rapid progress in generating large amounts of genomic and proteomic data.
Entire human, mouse, drosophila, and yeast genomes have been sequenced, and many are on
their way: its been estimated that only a small percentage of the human genome is functional, so
one challenge is to identify the functional elements from this sea of noise. The rapid
accumulation of data has opened up new possibilities for biologists, while at the same time
unprecedented mathematical challenges have emerged due to the mass of data. The question of
how to analyze all this new information has only begun to be tackled by researchers. One
powerful new approach to this problem is based on the comparison of multiple complete
genomes. In particular, we have applied this approach to identifying genes, regulatory regions,
non-coding RNA genes, etc. across species in an automated fashion.
As protein coding genes and regulatory motifs are identified, we would like to characterize their
functions. Because the biological function of a protein is determined by its 3D structure, an
important approach to this problem has been to predict protein structure from sequence. Again a
comparative approach, here based on protein structure, has yielded impressive results, both in
predicting protein structure from sequence and in functional annotation.
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