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Pharmacogenomics. 2001 Nov;2(4):373-85.

Prediction of higher order functional networks from genomic data.

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Bioinformatics Centre, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


Post-genomics may be defined in different ways depending on how one views the challenges after the discovery of the genome. A traditional view is to follow the concept of the central dogma in molecular biology, namely from genome to transcriptome to proteome. Projects are ongoing to analyse gene expression profiles both at the mRNA and protein levels, and to catalogue protein 3D structure families, which will no doubt help the understanding of the information in the genome. However, once complete, such experimentally determined catalogues of genes, RNAs and proteins only tell us about the building blocks of life. They do not tell us much about how life operates as a system, such as higher order functional behaviours of the cell or the organism. Thus, an alternative view of post-genomics is to go up from the molecular level to the cellular level and eventually to still higher levels, i.e., the biological systems. Bioinformatics provides basic concepts as well as practical methods to integrate this view with the traditional view and to analyse complex interactions among building blocks and with dynamic environments.

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