DNA-Based Computers

Although, silicon-based microprocessors are no doubt getting advanced in terms of speeds and miniaturization, but still chip makers are expecting more from made of something new material to cope up with today’s computing speeds. To meet the growing demand of faster speeds and greater storage capacity, scientists are now furiously struggling to find their way through an innovative nanotechnology, i.e. DNA-based microprocessors chips. They have announced a new technology based on the use of DNA, to develop an electronic device, such as a computer. It has been expected that this technology is going to hit the peak of achievements in the field of computational biology.

The process involves the ‘switching’ of DNA structure with the help of copper salts and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), a product normally found in shampoo and other common use items. Previously, there was a research showing that the purpose of changing the structure of a piece of DNA was to fold it up into ‘i-motif’, a four-stranded DNA secondary structure. But the recent research published in the journal Chemical Communications unleashed the fact that with the help of copper cations (positively-charged copper), the structure of DNA can be switched into a hair-pin structure, a second time. If the process is desired to be reversed, it can be done using EDTA.

The discovery of this remarkable nanotechnology has many applications, such as DNA can be used to make tiny machines like chips and other electronic devices, and most importantly for DNA-based computing, which will lead the manufacturing of computers with the utilization of DNA, rather than silicon. This technology will also be beneficial for sea animals, in detecting the presence of highly toxic copper cations in water, that are extremely hazardous for fish and other aquatic species.

The lead researcher from UEA’s school of pharmacy, Dr. Zoe Waller said, “Our research shows how the structure of our genetic material – DNA – can be changed and used in a way we didn’t realize. A single switch was possible before, but we show for the first time how the structure can be switched twice. A potential application of this finding could be to create logic gates for DNA based computing. Logic gates are an elementary building block of digital circuits, used in computers and other electronic equipment. They are traditionally made using diodes or transistors which act as electronic switches. This research expands how DNA could be used as a switching mechanism for a logic gate in DNA-based computing or in Nano-technology”.

Hence these DNA computers are expected to store trillions of times more data than our personal computers. The next decade is going to be based upon Nano-computers made up of genetic materials, instead of the existing silicon-based computers.


Ribosomes Is the Messenger of RNA

Johns Hopkins, a computational biologist, discovered ribosomes, the molecular machines in all cells that build proteins can sometimes do so perhaps within the pseudo un-translated aspects of the ribbons of innate fabric often known as messenger RNA. This is an exciting find that generates a whole new number of questions for analysts. Most important which include, is whether the proteins made from this unusual way have been useful as well as disastrous functions and even under what ailments, questions that have the potential to further our understanding of tumors cell expansion and even how cells are affected by weight.

Distinctive protein making happens if ribosomes forget to get recycled when they arrive at the stop sign in the mRNA. For purposes not at this point understood, rogue ribosomes restart without a start sign or make smaller proteins whose functions are unspecified. Ribosomes are made out of special RNA molecules DNA’s compound that work with proteins to examine instruction bearing mRNAs and translate their message to create proteins. Each and every mRNA depends on a start code, followed by the blueprint for a precise meat, followed by a stop code. And then there exists a segment of policy that has continually been called the un-translated region due to the fact investigators never found it translated into meat.

Rli1 could split ribosomes into their several part areas if they face an end code and are no longer needed. This recycling process disengages a ribosome from its current mRNA molecule so it’s available to translate another one. But it really was unclear whether Rli1 was good the same way in dwelling cell count. To establish, analysts deprived living yeast cell count of Rli1, predicting that translation would inhibit when ribosomes left up to stop codes. To see whereas the ribosomes were, the team other an enzyme to the cells that are going to chew up just about any revealed RNA. The RNA bound by ribosomes could well be protected and could possibly so be isolated and even recognized. While proposed, deprivation of Rli1 enhanced the number of ribosomes seated on stop codes. Nonetheless they in addition found evidence of ribosomes visiting the un-translated part, which they generally known as a surprise. It gives the impression that the ribosomes get exhausted and become disassembled and as a matter of fact they decide to return to their respective work.

The Contribution of Computational Biology in Cancer Research

Clinical cancer research has been significantly enhanced by high-throughput (HTP) technologies, like mass spectrometry and microarrays. Novel molecular markers related to cancer metastasis, drug sensitivity and resistance, and subtypes have been significantly divulged by them. Many of them have been utilized as a tool for disease diagnosis and prognosis, response monitoring and individualized treatment. Even with these great achievements, there were some more challenges left, such as: The platforms for HTP were noisy and experiencing false positives and negatives; complex workflows were required for successful validation and optimal analysis; large storage was needed to handle huge amount of data. Hence, the need of an advanced technology became the necessity to diminish the above challenges. Fortunately, the problem can be solved by virtue of integrative computational biology, with the help of its new analytical methods, software tools and data standards.

The main challenge faced by computational biology, particularly in individualized medicine, was to find a group of genes, proteins or microRNAs that can be used for the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer. Computational biology has introduced better understanding of early diagnosis and treatment of cancer with improved database designs, workflows to update distributed and heterogeneous data, and analytical methods, using advanced researches in the areas of statistics, machine learning, graph theory, data mining, and visualization.

Data integration is one of the most successful application of computational biology for the field of cancer research, since it is an efficient way of reducing biological and technological noise appeared in HTP cancer studies. Data integration provides confidence in researches if similar experiments yield similar results. Another application is network analysis, which have successfully addressed some of the analysis-based problems of HTP cancer study. It can uncover biological information of interlinked, highly complexed molecular networks of genes, such as, hierarchical structure, lethality, functional organization, modularity etc. Proteins networks includes three main applications with regard to cancer research, i.e. generation of signal, interpretation of signal and disease gene prediction. Moreover, the enhancement of databases and visualization has also facilitated the analysis of cancer profiles, and also, old data can be updated and interpreted in accordance with the new findings, e.g., update the new probe set mappings of microarray platform.

Hence the field of integrative computational biology has contributed in the growth of cancer research and its treatment by utilizing the techniques from physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering, and by comprehensively analyzing and interpreting the biological data. It has created new software tools and visualization methods to help overcome the challenge of HTP cancer biology.

Boston College

Computational biology is a program that is a conglomerate of several disciplines that has gained popularity with many students enrolling in it. It will be wise to choose an institution that will offer you the best training in this area for you to stand a better chance in the field.

Boston College is one of the best institutions that you can opt for to study this program and is located at Massachusetts, Chestnut Hill in the United States. In the last two years, the institution has set up a modern research laboratory of a whooping $80 million as evidence that it is out to offer quality training in computational biology.

This gives you an assurance that this institution that is among the top ranked institutions is capable of offering you the best training using the best facilities available. The college has achieved several awards for its role in education and draws students from across the globe.

It started as one that offered theology, philosophy, math, science, classical languages and rhetoric to students with an Irish origin in the year 1863. When it first started it was on Harrison Avenue in South End, Boston and there were only 3 teachers and 22 students at the time when it became fully operational in 1864.

Having been in existence for a long time you can easily track the record of performance of the college in this field. It turned 150 years in 2012 and in 1952 it is when it offered its first doctorate programs. This year, in an effort to recognize its largest benefactor the college of Arts and sciences was given the name Robert J. Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.

Boston College has a high number of women taking various programs and they form more than half the total population with the college of Arts and Sciences being the oldest and largest. Another opportunity you can seize is the Presidential Scholars Program where you stand a chance to become one of the 15 that get to benefit from the scholarship.

You can do this by applying as early as possible since the program attracts many students. Students here engage in several extra-curriculum activities such as football and ice hockey with all teams taking part in various games going by the name the Eagles.

Joining this college makes you part of influential people that have gone through it including John F. Kerry, Tip O’Neill, Paul Cellucci among others. Lastly, in addition to offering a great computational biology program, its men’s ice hockey has won several national awards making it an all rounded institution suitable for you.