ENCODE paper and Ewan Birney's Interview

ENCODE paper and Ewan Birney's Interview

Here is the part of the interview that caught our attention.

How does that discovery help us understand disease?

Its like opening a door. Think about all the different ways you can study a particular disease, such as Crohns: Should we look at immune system cells in the gut? Or should we look at the neurons that fire to the gut? Or should we be looking at the stomach and how it does something else?

All those are options. Now suddenly ENCODE is letting you examine those options and say, Well, I really think you should start by looking at this part of the immune systemthe helper T cells first. And we can do that for a very, very big set of diseases. Thats really exciting.

When we go through computational biology journals, we find large number of algorithms related to studying genomes, genes, miRNA, small RNA, etc., but hardly any algorithm on immune system and T-cell diversity. On the other hand, the motivation section of proposals funding those projects typically say - ‘long term goal of our project is to cure diseases.’ It is not as if computational biologists do not find interesting things to do with T-cell data.

We will turn off the rant mode and let you read the whole interview.

Ewan Birney’ interview on ENCODE in Scientific American

Nature’s link on ENCODE paper

Written by M. //