International Journal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology

In Silico

Efforts aimed at deciphering the molecular basis of complex disease are underpinned by the availability of high throughput strategies for the identification of biomolecules that drive the disease process. The completion of the human genome-sequencing project, coupled to major technological developments, has afforded investigators myriad opportunities for multidimensional analysis of biological systems. Nowhere has this research explosion been more evident than in the field of transcriptomics. Affordable access and availability to the technology that supports such investigations has led to a significant increase in the amount of data generated. As most biological distinctions are now observed at a genomic level, a large amount of expression information is now openly available via public databases. Furthermore, numerous computational based methods have been developed to harness the power of these data. In this review we provide a brief overview of in silicon methodologies for the analysis of differential gene expression such as Serial Analysis of Gene Expression and Digital Differential Display. The performance of these strategies, at both an operational and result/output level is assessed and compared. The key considerations that must be made when completing an in silicon expression analysis are also presented as a roadmap to facilitate biologists. Furthermore, to highlight the importance of these in silico methodologies in contemporary biomedical research, examples of current studies using these approaches are discussed. The overriding goal of this review is to present the scientific community with a critical overview of these strategies, so that they can be effectively added to the tool box of biomedical researchers focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms of disease.  

Relevant Topics in General Science