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Scientists Develop A Software That Will Help In Designing Health Care Products

Update Date: Mar 16, 2014 10:46 PM EDT
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Scientists have developed a computer-aided design tool that will help in creating genetic languages. These languages will ultimately guide the design of biological systems. 

The tool dubbed as 'GenoCAD' will be the open-source software that would help synthetic biologists capture biological rules. These rules will be used to engineer organisms that will produce useful products as well as other health-care solutions from inexpensive, renewable materials. 

"Just like software engineers need different languages like HTML, SQL or Java to develop different kinds of software applications, synthetic biologists need languages for different biological applications," explained Jean Peccoud, an associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, according to TOI.

"From its inception, we envisioned GenoCAD as a framework allowing users to capture their expertise of a particular domain in languages that they could use themselves or share with others."

The software would also help researchers in designing protein expression vectors, artificial gene networks and other genetic constructs. 

"Developing a grammar in GenoCAD is a little like writing a review paper," said Oliver Purcell, a postdoctoral associate at MIT, in the press release.

"You start with the headings and you progressively dig deeper in the details. At the end of the process, you have a much better appreciation for what you know and what you don't know about a particular domain," he added.

The researchers said encapsulating current knowledge by defining standards would become increasingly important as the number and complexity of components engineered by synthetic biologists increases, reported TOI.

"GenoCAD can enable collaborations across disciplines and institutions to foster a team approach to today's most pressing scientific challenges," the researchers wrote in the paper. 

The research has been published in the journal Bioinformatics.

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