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10th CRG Annual Symposium: “Computational Biology of molecular sequencing”

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10
Nov
Thu, 10/11/2011 - 08:00

10th CRG Annual Symposium: “Computational Biology of molecular sequencing”

Press release

It took a computer to revolutionise biology

  • The Barcelona Biomedical Research Park Auditorium will host a meeting of international experts in computational biology for the 10th CRG Annual Symposium. Scientists from around the world will gather in Barcelona to discuss the latest advances in computational methods, technologies and applications for molecular sequencing.

On November 10-11, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) will host the X Annual Symposium on the “Computational Biology of molecular sequencing”. Data analysis, molecular modelling, genomics, proteomics, molecular dynamics and gene and protein structure prediction will be the focus of this year’s edition which is coordinated by Roderic Guigó, head of the “Bioinformatics and Genomics” research programme at the CRG together with the group leaders of the programme: Cédric Notredame (Comparative Bioinformatics); Toni Gabaldón (Comparative Genomics); Fyodor Kondrashov (Evolutionary Genomics) and Gian Gaetano Tartaglia (Gene Function and Evolution).
The event is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), the Catalan University and Research Grants Management Agency (Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca, AGAUR), and Novartis. 
In the emerging field of computational biology, life sciences and other disciplines such as applied mathematics and computer science, have converged to meet the technological requirements of a more systemic approach to biological research. In the era of the –‘omics’, while genomics is still dominating the field, molecular sequencing technologies have evolved in parallel with advances in automation, robotisation, and multiplexing. “Now, technologies developed during the last few years let us see what life is like, at an unprecedented resolution” explains Roderig Guigó.
The far-reaching implications for biomedicine, particularly in human diseases with high social impact, such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, have turned molecular sequencing into one of the most rapidly expanding fields of research within computational biology. From the early sequencing technologies that yielded the publication of the genome sequence of myriad species, including our own, large-scale data collection and analysis have become the big challenges for computational biologists in all the –‘omics’ fields, including transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and interactomics.
Transcriptomics, the study of all the transcripts in a cell, has been revolutionised by next-generation RNA sequencing technologies, or RNA-Seq, which have brought about the possibility of recording all the gene transcripts in a cell, mRNAs, non-coding RNAs, and small RNAs, and quantifying changing levels under different conditions, including in disease. The profiling of proteins, metabolites and interactions, known as proteomics, metabolomics and interactomics, still are still looking for their own revolutions. 
While we wait for a more integrative approach to biology, in which data from all –‘omics’ technologies are integrated into a single model of how a particular biological system works, there are still some bumps in the road for the computational biologists to overcome. There is no doubt that biology has become a data-driven discipline and is becoming increasingly more so. As the number of genomic and experimental datasets from high-throughput studies increases, so does the number of algorithms to study them, and thus, additional computing power is needed.
But, computational resources cannot keep up with the data, and questions are piling up faster than answers. Also, biological data is gaining in complexity by including information from different branches of life sciences. As this happens, the need for increased effort into developing new integrated multi-‘omics’ models becomes more and more evident. Solutions to these questions will be essential for the progress of computational biology in the near future.
The tenth CRG Annual Symposium on “Computational biology of molecular sequencing” aims to provide a multidisciplinary platform where scientists from all around the world discuss all of these questions. During the two-day CRG Annual Symposium, more than 250 national and international scientists will discuss the breakthroughs, applications and prospects of a discipline that will allow biologists to dig deeper and see further into the complex world of biological systems.
Please visit http://2011symposium.crg.es/ for further details
For further information: Juan Sarasua - juan.sarasua@crg.eu
 

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