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Posts Tagged ‘proteomics’

World-first network linking experts in proteomics and metabolomics

Josh: We’re going to see an increase in sites like this where researchers from various disciplines can help each other out. This site has contact information for experts in various fields, allowing labs to more easily collaborate to do interdisciplinary research. I foresee sites like this becoming more “social”, where there are forums or means for researchers in one discipline to ask questions to experts in another discipline. It’s actually surprising that this doesn’t already exist, but I suppose most Web 2.0 technologies haven’t really been applied to other areas yet.

A world-first network linking experts in two leading biotechnologies, proteomics and metabolomics, has been launched by The Hon Gavin Jennings at The University of Melbourne.

The portal website of Proteomics and Metabolomics Victoria (PMV) was activated during the opening of Metabolomics Australia’s node at the University, and is now publicly accessible at www.pmv.org.au.

“Nowhere else is there a cross-sector network of this nature, involving collaboration between academia, trade and industry,” said Professor Mike Hubbard of the University of Melbourne’s Department of Paediatrics, who spearheaded the initiative.

PMV aims to provide education about proteomics and metabolomics, to help scientists access these technologies, and to facilitate practitioners’ interactions with the numerous companies supplying this field.

“Education and workforce development is a central concern shared by academic and commercial members, and together we aim to establish training schemes tailored to our collective needs.”

The State Government of Victoria supported establishment of PMV through funding of a proposal made jointly by Prof Hubbard and Monash University’s Professor Ian Smith.

Simply put, ‘proteome’ means all the proteins in an individual and ‘proteomics’ is the study of as many of those proteins as practicable.

Proteomics provides scientists with a variety of key benefits including deeper understanding of biological processes, increased diagnostic power, and access to information not available from gene-based approaches.

Similarly ‘metabolomics’ is the study of numerous metabolites, which are small molecules such as breakdown products of food, hormones and drugs.

Metabolomics provides scientists with several benefits that are both powerful in themselves and complementary to those of proteomics.

Through its link with the varied and dynamic nature of metabolism, metabolomics offers a very sensitive fingerprint for the status of a biological system (e.g. whether it is healthy or diseased or laden with performance-enhancing drugs).

Proteomics and metabolomics are used in many different research scenarios from academic laboratories in search of hot discoveries through to commercial applications in biotechnology, agriculture and medicine.

In the laboratory, these technologies are typically used to unravel basic biological mechanisms, details of which could lead to new understanding and ideas. Such “nuts and bolts” advances might in turn be harnessed by applications scientists to guide development of new drugs or diagnostics, for example.

“We hope to improve scientists’ access to proteomics and metabolomics, and facilitate interactions between the supply companies and practitioners of these technologies.”

“We also hope to give students and the public a clear understanding about our field, and illustrate its successful practice in Victoria.”

“The website showcases the depth of information and services available in Victoria.”

Source: University of Melbourne

Pressured proteins: A little pressure in proteomics squeezes 4-hour step into a minute

Josh: In research, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes can cost hours, days, or even weeks of work. By allowing a long, usually overnight process to take place in a mere minute, it allows researchers to recover from mistakes much faster. Not only that, but it should also allow more samples to be prepared simultaneously, also cutting down the time required.

Many coaches inspire better performance by pressuring their teams. Now, proteomics researchers are using pressure to improve the performance of their analyses. In a simple solution to a time-consuming problem, the researchers have found that adding pressure early in their protocol squeezes four hours of waiting into a minute.

“We were really happy to see how well it worked,” said biochemist Daniel Lopez-Ferrer, a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “We’re determining when and how to incorporate it into our analyses.” Lopez-Ferrer and his colleagues reported their findings in July 8, 2008 Journal of Proteome Research. … Continue Reading »

Researchers report the cloning of a key group of human genes, the protein kinases

Although the human genome has been sequenced, research into mechanism of action of genes has been hampered by the fact that most human genes have not been isolated. This is true for even the most common class of cancer-associated genes, the protein kinases, which mediate the majority of signaling events in cells by phosphorylating and modulating the activity of other proteins. It has been estimated by systematic gene sequencing efforts that up to a quarter of kinases may play a role in human cancers.

In a study published in the 2nd of May issue of Cell, a research teams led by Professor Jussi Taipale from the National Public Health Institute and University of Helsinki, Finland, Professor Olli Kallioniemi from Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), and Dr. Wei-Wu He from the US-based biotechnology company Origene Technologies, Inc., report cloning of nearly all predicted human protein kinase genes in functional form, and generation of a corresponding set of kinases lacking catalytic activity that are necessary for functional studies. They further used the kinome collection in several high-throughput screens, including a screen which identified two novel kinases regulating the Hedgehog signaling pathway – a key pathway linked to multiple types of human cancer. In addition, together with the group of Dr. Päivi Ojala, University of Helsinki, they identified a novel kinase required for activation of Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus.

“The isolated kinase genes form a resource that scientist can now use to systematically map kinase signaling networks in different cellular disease models. The kinases are also promising targets for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of various cancers”, Professor Taipale states.

Source: University of Helsinki

Markku Varjosalo, Mikael Björklund, Fang Cheng, Heidi Syvänen, Teemu Kivioja, Sami Kilpinen, Zairen Sun, Olli Kallioniemi, Hendrik G. Stunnenberg, Wei-Wu He, Päivi Ojala and Jussi Taipale Cell, Volume 133, Issue 3 2 May 2008

Spit tests may soon replace many blood tests

One day soon patients may spit in a cup, instead of bracing for a needle prick, when being tested for cancer, heart disease or diabetes. A major step in that direction is the cataloguing of the “complete” salivary proteome, a set of proteins in human ductal saliva, identified by a consortium of three research teams, according to an article published today in the Journal of Proteome Research. Replacing blood draws with saliva tests promises to make disease diagnosis, as well as the tracking of treatment efficacy, less invasive and costly. … Continue Reading »