Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

How bioinformatics is transforming medicine:

Bioinformatics is critical to the development of personalised medicine & will result in significant changes in prevention, treatment & possibly cure.
By Professor Mathew Vadas AO
Date: July 31 2013
Editor Rating:
dna_strand

An obvious lesson from many years of research into conditions such as cancer, TB, liver and heart disease is that there is simply no one single cause or cure. The systems of the human body - and biology in general - are simply too complex, and we are only just now becoming able to deal with them.

Biologists have always struggled to analyse the complexity of life. But the problem got bigger with the human genome project. Under the guidance of biologists, thousands of robots read the whole human genome and supercomputers crunched the data to reveal the three billion or so letters in our genetic code, and the 32,000 or so genes that define a human being.  What once took 10 years at the cost of $3 billion to map the human genome of one person, now takes 1 hour at the cost of $3,000.

If we could identify a unique genetic signature for every disease, it would be possible to enable the prediction of outcomes. It has become more and more apparent that disease conditions can take different paths depending on the genetic environment, demanding different treatments – what is now called personalised medicine.

Centenary is using bioinformatics approaches to probe for such signatures through collaborations with our scientists and clinicians. This computational discipline borrows from mathematics, statistics and computer science in turbo-charging the research process.  It allows the discovery of patterns where the human mind sees noise, and it allows the discovery of new diseases where the human mind sees uniformity.

The Bioinformatics Groupled by Dr William Ritchie (pictured below), has been able to identify genes involved in blood cell development with the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy program. The particular genes uncovered were not known to do anything until computer analysis found the connection. This work will help us understand the mechanisms of leukaemia and eventually provide new, personalised approaches to therapy.

dr-william-ritchie

 

Bioinformatics has transformed the speed of medical research from years to a day - from making impossible findings possible. It enables researchers to understand the basis of many of the world's most confronting medical research questions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, tuberculosis and liver cirrhosis.

Dr Ritchie’s group have made a novel discovery that allows them to detect new microRNAs in human cells.  MicroRNAs are miniscule pieces of DNA often termed ‘micro-managers’ as they control the fate of thousands of genes - genes that are responsible for numerous cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and heart disease. Finding microRNAs is nearly impossible given they are thousands of times smaller than normal genes and have completely different sequences.

This code-breaking method called ‘Markovian Chains’ was used to crack the Enigma code during WWII. By applying this code to Human Genome sequences, we can find unusually frequent patterns in the DNA code and have substantially increased the probability of finding ‘micro-managers’. Having successfully applied this technique to bacteria and viruses, we are going to apply this technique to human genomes.

Centenary’s Bioinformatics group has also helped our Vascular Biology group to unearth a compound which can stem internal bleeding from blood vessels after a stroke or heart attack. This compound emerged from a study of microRNAs, fragments of genetic material involved in regulation.

Another breakthrough was made during a 20-minute computer experiment that saved years of research. Bioinformatics helped our Molecular Cardiology group to track the changes in the levels of microRNAs during the course of a genetic heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - a disease affecting one in 500 young people.  This work will lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating this devastating condition.

Today, practically every research laboratory at Centenary is generating gigabytes of data for analysis. The Bioinformatics group have set up a supercomputer and data cloud that allows researchers to quickly see if anyone in the world has already done experiments in the organ or tissues in which they are interested.

Before we had the Bioinformatics group, it would take up to eight months to analyse the results of one experiment. Now, it only takes two weeks to get the answers we need to move on to the next step.

This new and critical approach to medical research requires specialised scientists in the field, state-of-the-art technology and resulting exponential growth in computer storage. It’s an area of research that will need to grow to accommodate both advances in science as well as increased demand for personalised medicine.

You can help speed up the pace of our medical research. By making a donation to Centenary you can help to bring new therapies and treatments to light faster, saving countless people from suffering through supporting our research.

Bioinformatics is critical to the development of personalised approaches in medicine. It empowers clinicians to use the right drug for the right person, it empowers families by giving a more accurate forecast for cures, and it empowers the researchers in their targets for drug discovery. These essential components ensure that findings are translated into better patient outcomes in areas such as heart disease, cancer, liver and diabetes, to name a few.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
19 Total Comments
sufiya says: 2015 10 13
Rating:

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people
clash of clans gem generator  |  shadow fight 2 mod

wallens says: 2015 11 11
Rating:

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.
facebook

wallens says: 2015 11 24
Rating:

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. how to gain more followers on twitter free youtube subscribers

erectile dysfunction conqueror says: 2015 12 03
Rating:

The basic segment is to take after the right system to find these catchphrases and words.  erectile dysfunction conqueror

michealjohn0 says: 2015 12 14
Rating:

On this subject internet page, you’ll see my best information, be sure to look over this level of detail.
upload images to instagram

micheal hatrick says: 2015 12 16
Rating:

boom beach hack This is very appealing, however , it is very important that will mouse click on the connection: clash of clans hack deutsch

Ahsan Azam says: 2017 03 20
Rating:

I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will locate that extremely useful…
book hotel Saint Petersburg

Garcinia pills says: 2018 02 21
Rating:

Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

Garcinia pills says: 2018 02 21
Rating:

Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.Garcinia pills

www.penileguider.com/male-enhancement-pills/endove says: 2018 02 21
Rating:

Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff…I think you’ve made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work. www.penileguider.com/male-enhancement-pills/endovex.html

View All Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343


Your Comment has been posted
Related Articles
eczema_-_boy
Technological advancements are assisting scientists such as Dr Philip Tong…
Read more
doctor-listening-to-girls-heart
"Game changing" research helps 42 members of a family with…
Read more
generations
This family physician says knowing family medical history is an…
Read more
small_girl_on_beach
Australia's doctors call for a "seismic shift" in the health…
Read more
Shipping-containers-freight-wallpaper-preview

Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Vtech giveaway motherpedia

Win 1 of 3 VTech Toys Pack Giveaway
Playtime is so much more with VTech

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!

Bruno-kelzer-zqzuigxcvrq-unsplash

Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.