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Importance of systems biology highlighted

?SYSTEMS BIOLOGY is an emerging field which integrates biological experiments with largescale data analysis and quantitative modelling?, said Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy of School of Information and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi).
None | By HT Correspondent, Varanasi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 23, 2006 12:08 AM IST

“SYSTEMS BIOLOGY is an emerging field which integrates biological experiments with largescale data analysis and quantitative modelling”, said Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy of School of Information and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi).

Delivering the inaugural address of a three -day national seminar and workshop on ‘Bioinformatics and Computational Biology’ at Mahila Mahavidyalaya in Banaras Hindu University here on Wednesday, he said that the main feature of systems biology was quantification.

“Its focus is on systems that are composed of molecular components. Although systems are composed of matter, the emphasis of this very field lies in dynamics such as cellular metabolism or interconnections”, he said. He also talked about different networks, importance of networks, systems biology of cancer and also the possible designing of drugs.

“Understanding some elements such as structure of the systems (gene regulatory and biochemical networks as well as physical structures), dynamics of the system (both qualitative and quantitative analysis)—this actually gives construction of the theory, model with powerful prediction capability, control methods of system and design method of the system (this brings engineers and biologists to work together) etc. are very necessaryy”, he said.

Prof. Ramaswamy also discussed chemical interaction in a system such as protein-gene interaction, protein-protein interaction and genome etc. He said that the connectivities and topologies of the network determined their properties.

Seminar convener Prof. Usha Jaiswal established the theme of the seminar and said that applying network methods to information and metabolic pathways opened a field of metabolomics that could help in analysing growing databanks for pathogens, plants and animals.

Principal of Mahila Mahavidyalaya Prof. Sushila Singh welcomed the guests and BHU Rector Prof. S. Lele presided over the inaugural function. Organising secretary of the seminar Dr. Swati proposed the vote of thanks. Later, discussion on ‘Molecular Mechanism of Mutation and Cancer: A Quantum Chemical Approach’, ‘Large Non Coding Transcripts in Eukaryotes are not Products of Junk or Selfish Genes’, ‘Signal Processing and Genome Analysis’ were also held in the seminar.

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