July 4 – 9 , 2004, Dagstuhl Seminar 04281

Integrative Bioinformatics - Aspects of the Virtual Cell


Julio Collado-Vides (National University of Mexico, MX)
Ralf Hofestädt (Universität Bielefeld, DE)
Christoph W. Sensen (University of Calgary, CA)

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Molecular biology produces huge amounts of data in the post-genomic era. Among them, there is data describing metabolic mechanisms and pathways, structural genomic organization, patterns of regulatory regions; proteomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics data. On one hand, analysis of these data is determined essentially by the methods and concepts of computer science; on the other hand, it depends on a range of biological tasks solved by researchers. Currently, there are about 500 database informational systems and various analytical tools available via the Internet and directed at solving various biological tasks. The challenge we have is to integrate these list-parts from genomics and proteomics at novel levels of understanding. Integrative Bioinformatics would be this new area of research using the tools of computer science and electronic infrastructure applied to Biotechnology. These tools will also represent the backbone of the concept of virtual cell.


Regarding the development of methods and concepts of Bioinformatics to model metabolic processes the integrative aspect stands in the center of the seminar. The discussion of specific requirements for the implementation of a virtual cell using these technics is the main goal of the seminar. Therefore, one result will be to characterize the possibilities of Integrative Bioinformatics within the scope of System Biology. This seminar addresses primarily scientists working in this emerging field of Integrative Bioinformatics and, hence, would discuss the corresponding problems and present concepts. The key idea is to invite scientist, which are working in the dry and/or wet lab.

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