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Applications in target ID and validation

11 November 2005 | By Oliver C. Steinbach, Head of Department, Technology Management, ALTANA Pharma AG

RNAi technology provides the ‘loss of function’ approach, which has been widely used in the last couple of years for analysis of gene function, and in drug discovery for identification and validation of potential drug target candidates. This technology is now widely applied for functional screens in order to identify…

Meeting the challenge with a new facility

11 November 2005 | By EPR

The conclusion of the Genome Sequencing Project – far from providing the solution to the problem of human disease – has created further questions that had not previously been considered. Hence, the age of genomics has initiated the need to examine the body’s real biochemical actors: proteins, to learn about…

Options for quantitative analysis by real-time PCR

11 November 2005 | By Gareth Elvidge, PhD, Genomics Group, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford

The expansion of microarray-based gene expression studies has led to an increase in demand for gene-specific PCR-based methods for independent validation of results. Although a number of technologies are available to meet this requirement the most popular is currently real-time PCR.

The promise and pitfalls

22 August 2005 | By Craig S. Mickanin, Research Investigator and Mark A. Labow, Executive Director, Genomic and Proteomic Sciences, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Perhaps the most significant technological advancement in the study of gene function in the post-genome era has been the discovery that RNA interference (RNAi) can be exploited for depletion of endogenous mRNA in mammalian cells. As the pharmaceutical industry has fallen under intense pressure to both identify and validate high-quality…

Plasma protein biomarker discovery

22 August 2005 | By Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D.,Ph.D University of Michigan

Less than a week after Nature and Science published the special issues on the ’blueprint‘ for the human genome sequence 15-16 Feb, 2001, the Financial Times of 21 February, 2001, ran a major article about proteomics, calling proteins “the real stuff of life”. Proteins are, indeed, the effector molecules for…

Initiatives from Spain

22 August 2005 | By José M Mato, Isabel Pérez-Mato, Félix Elortza, CIC bioGUNE and Julio Font, Noray Bioinformatics, S.L

The availability of the complete sequence of some model organism genomes, including the human genome, offers new opportunities for biological research. The goal is to establish technology to identify all the proteins involved in a particular biological process and the interactions between them.

Efficient HTS in the nanoliter range

22 August 2005 | By Dr Johannes Ottl, Laboratory Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry continues to face an ever-changing, increasingly competitive business environment. This makes it imperative for drug discovery and development efforts to incorporate new technologies in order to reduce time-to-market to survive in today’s competitive marketplace. This industry pressure to shorten the R&D process has seen high-throughput screening (HTS)…

Target validation

20 May 2005 | By Jeroen DeGroot, PhD; Anne-Marie Zuurmond, PhD, Daniel Eefting, MD; Ruud A Bank, PhD; and Paul Quax, PhD.; TNO Quality of Life, Business Unit Biomedical Research

All diseases have a genetic component, whether inherited or resulting from the body's response to environmental stresses such as viruses, toxins or trauma. The successes of the human genome project have enabled researchers to pinpoint errors in genes that cause or contribute to disease.

Easy access for the scientific community

20 May 2005 | By Laura Hohmann, Research Associate, Daniel Martin M.D., Director, Proteomics Facility, The Institute for Systems Biology

The past decade has witnessed an explosion in the field of proteomics. This development has been driven by the development of database search algorithms, expansion of sequence databases and improvements in mass spectrometry instrumentation. Quantitative techniques using isotopic dilution have allowed quantitative experiments. The expanding opportunities have propelled the development…

Integration of miniaturisation technologies

20 May 2005 | By Peter Hodder, Ph.D., Director & Head of Lead ID, Scripps Florida

In pharmaceutical drug discovery research, several technological advances have moved in vitro biological and biochemical experiments from the laboratory benchtop to fully automated high-throughput screening (HTS) robotic platforms1,2.

Forging therapeutics from small interfering RNAs

7 March 2005 | By Olaf Heidenreich, Department of Molecular Biology, Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen

Small interfering RNAs are irreplaceable tools for the functional analysis of pathological gene products. Therapeutic siRNA development leads to new treatment strategies for gene products, where conventional small molecule approaches have failed.

A network of innovation from Canada

7 March 2005 | By Dr Daniel Boismenu, Team Leader, Mass Spectrometry Unit, Montreal Proteomics Network

The Réseau Protéomique de Montréal Proteomic Network (RPMPN) was created in the year 2000 through funding from Genome Canada, Genome Québec and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. For the past five years, the RPMPN has been involved in the Cell Map Project, which involves cell biologists from the Université de…

Versatile miniaturised HTS

7 March 2005 | By Oliver Bruttger, Danielle Folio, Christine Niklaus and Johannes Ottl, Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research, Lead Discovery Center Basel

Research and development for a pharmaceutical company is a difficult and lengthy process. It stretches from the discovery phase to preclinical and clinical development stage, through the drug approval period ultimately to clinical application. The discovery research phase is one of the early key processes. The research starts with target…

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