18:00/19:30 - Auditorium
K1: Prespectives in Bioinformatics (Sponsored by: Fundación BBVA)
A view of the future of bionformatics from those that have been there since the beginning
Area chair: Alfonso Valencia
KS-1: Is Biology too fast for Bioinformatics?
Biology is full of surprises, and the past months have had their share of unexpected discoveries, some of them refuting what we thought were well established dogmas. In the meantime, bioinformatics is devoting most of its energy into ancillary tasks, perfecting 20-year old algorithms or focusing on topic of little scientific significance. On the other end of the spectrum, traditional bioinformatics is prematurely evolving into trendy "systemics", while the above experimental results amply demonstrate that we still don't know half of the parts, functions and relationships constituting the biological systems the modeling of which is attempted. Following an overview of my personal choice of recent biological breakthroughs, I'd like to encourage the young bioinformaticist in the audience to better follow the fast evolutionary pace of Biology, and try to turn Bioinformatics into an efficient discovery approach rather than comforting it as an after-the-fact biological information management system (ABIMS) or wasting their time on "holistic" research directions that are nothing more than computer assisted sophisticated hand-waving (CASH), a 21st century remake of the Von Bertalanffy imposture.
KS-2: A Tale of Two Domains: With apologies to Dickens
Temple F. Smith, Ph.D.
The need to associate both biochemical function and cellular roles to protein domains, rather than the individual proteins, has been recognized for a number of years. However, the ability to identify functional and/or evolutionary domains in proteins from the many full genomic sequence projects is still somewhat problematic. The problem is compounded by the large number of proteins and domains with no obvious currently recognized homologues. In research on these and related problems, our group has developed a number of tools and discovered some interesting examples of domain functions and deep evolutionary histories. Two cases will be discussed demonstrating both the utility of various bioinformatics approaches and the importance of very large-scale data integration.