An international consortium of university researchers has produced the most comprehensive virtual reconstruction of human metabolism to date.
Scientists could use the model, known as Recon 2, to identify causes of and new treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and even psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
Each person’s metabolism, which represents the conversion of food sources into energy and the assembly of molecules, is determined by genetics, environment and nutrition. The model is based on earlier pioneering work by researchers at the University of California.
“Recon 2 allows biomedical researchers to study the human metabolic network with more precision than was ever previously possible,” Bernhard Palsson, Galletti professor of Bioengineering at UC.
“This is essential to understanding where and how specific metabolic pathways go off track to create disease.”