UNDERSTANDING DISEASE & THERAPY - C-DACs indigenous tools for personalized, preventive cure

The Times of India (Pune)
January 17, 2017

City-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has indigenously developed two tools that can help researchers and doctors predict probable future ailments and prescribe a personalized cure for the same.

Developed by C-DAC's Bioinformatics team, the two tools -DPICT and NEURON -will be launched on Tuesday and will be free for students and academicians. However, industries or private parties wishing to use these tools will have to pay .

“A similar technology was used by Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie to find out if she carried a mutant gene that co uld have resulted in breast cancer. Accordingly , she opted for surgeries for prevention of cancer,“ an official from C-DAC told TOI. While DPICT can help the researchers visualize multi ple simulation trajectory data in accelerated and efficient way , NEURON comes handy in identifying cause and its effect on genes by focusing on deriving gene regulatory network. “The key feature of DPICT is to load multiple trajectory files simultaneously and view them together and perform operations on them. Various colo ur coding schemes for the structure is also avai lable,“ Hemant Darbari, executive director of C-DAC, said while addressing a news conference on Monday .

If there are A, B and C molecules, the researchers can simulate and run functions on all the three at the same time.This will help in finding out what a particular medicine will do to all the three molecules within a very short time.“This will help us in giving personalized treatment to the patients,“ Darbari said, adding that these tools may become as common as CT scan or MRI scan in the future.

“NEURON has been used in studying 70,000 varieties of rice crops in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.DPICT is a tool to assist drug discovery which will lead to understanding a disease and its therapy ,“ senior scientist and head of bioinformatics team Rajendra Joshi said.

NEURON (Network Relationship Using Casual Reasoning) is an easy to use interface where the researcher can understand the process of identifying casualty in a gene, the relationship of cause and effect.

Symposium on accelerating biology

A symposium on accelerating biology will be held between January 17 and 19. Vijay Bhatkar, former executive director, C-DAC and Dinakar Salunke, director of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (IGCEB), New Delhi, will be present for the inauguration at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration on Tuesday. Focus areas of the symposium will be emerging areas in computational drug design, molecular dynamics simulations, witnessing rare events, next generation sequencing, disease implications, metabolic networks and systems biology, big data driven biology among others.