Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

25 years of DNA on computers

Date:
January 3, 2014
Source:
Sissa Medialab
Summary:
DNA carries out its activities “diluted” in the cell nucleus. In this state, it synthesizes proteins and, even though it looks like a messy tangle of thread, in actual fact its structure is governed by precise rules that are important for it to carry out its functions. Biologists have studied DNA by observing it experimentally with a variety of techniques, which have only recently been supplemented by research in silico, that is to say, the study of DNA by means of computer simulations.

DNA computer simulation.
Credit: Angelo Rosa & Ralf Everaers, Plos Computational Biology 4; SISSA

DNA carries out its activities "diluted" in the cell nucleus. In this state it synthesises proteins and, even though it looks like a messy tangle of thread, in actual fact its structure is governed by precise rules that are important for it to carry out its functions. Biologists have studied DNA by observing it experimentally with a variety of techniques, which have only recently been supplemented by research in silico, that is to say, the study of DNA by means of computer simulations. This is a recent area of study, but it has already given a major contribution to knowledge in this field.

Related Articles


Angelo Rosa, a theoretical physicist of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, with the collaboration of Christophe Zimmer, an experimental physicist from the Pasteur Institute in Paris has assessed the state of the art of this novel but powerful approach in a systematic review that has just been published in the journal International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology.

"Apart from some rare exceptions, we reviewed virtually all of the models developed to date," explains Rosa. "The review is mainly aimed at biologists in that we have made minimal use of mathematical formulas which hamper reading. I think this is the first review of its kind. The paper is actually also interesting for physicists and mathematicians who are approaching this new field for the first time."

The two physicists reviewed 25 years of computational models: "in this relatively short time span the models have become increasingly sophisticated and this, thanks to the development of computers," explains Rosa. "Today we are able to make far more detailed and predictive simulations, which allow us to lead the work of experimental researchers in previously unthought-of directions."

"This is a useful tool which, without going into mathematical detail, provides the biologist with an overview of the type of studies that will increasingly complement the more traditional approaches" continues Rosa. "Today, for example, we already have software programmes which, starting from experimental data, allow us to reconstruct the structure of specific portions of chromosomes. I think that if computers continue to evolve as they have done until now -- and there's no reason to doubt this -- we'll be able to reconstruct entire chromosomes."

"At the present time, the future prospects of in silico research into nuclear DNA are twofold," concludes Rosa, "to understand in detail the dynamics of gene expression (the details of protein synthesis) and to identify precisely where the chromosomes are when DNA unravels in the nucleus."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Sissa Medialab. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Angelo Rosa, Christophe Zimmer. Computational Models of Large-Scale Genome Architecture. International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology, January 2014

Cite This Page:

Sissa Medialab. "25 years of DNA on computers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140103085244.htm>.
Sissa Medialab. (2014, January 3). 25 years of DNA on computers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140103085244.htm
Sissa Medialab. "25 years of DNA on computers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140103085244.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) A holodeck is no longer the preserve of TV sci-fi classic Star Trek, thanks to researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine Zurich, who have created what they say is the first system in the world to visualise the 3D data of forensic scans. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) Hewlett-Packard is boosting its mobile computing business... buying California-based Aruba Networks- a wi-fi network gear maker for $24.67 per share. Leah Duncan reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) This year, mobile payments might finally catch on. Here are the things you need to know to stay on top of the latest developments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) South Korea&apos;s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy S smartphones, featuring a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of undisputed global smartphone leader from Apple Inc. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins