posted by Mosaic Data Science
Fifty years ago the data revolution in molecular biology was beginning as Max Perutz had shown how to map protein tertiary structure using X-ray crystallography and Pehr Edman was learning to read the primary structure amino acid sequence using degradation. Since then, ever-improving methods have led to a data explosion, requiring new and better methods for analyzing and modeling the plethora of data in both research and in healthcare. Bioinformatics, computational biology, healthcare data analysis, and healthcare predictive modeling are working to keep pace with the enormous wealth of information, and now research out of Columbia University is leading to what promises to be yet another revolutionary source of molecular and cellular data.
While X-ray crystallography and Edman degradation are research techniques, other techniques are important both in research and in health care. Consider nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy which can map out the electronic structure of a molecule, for example. That technology, under the politically-correct title of magnetic resonance imaging, is an important
medical imaging alternative.
But while X-ray crystallography, Edman degradation and nuclear magnetic resonance provide a wealth of protein structure and sequence data, what truly would be revolutionary is the live visualization of protein metabolism. That is, a noninvasive, cell-wide visualization of protein synthesis and degradation. Such a real-time streaming data source of proteome dynamics could be enormously useful in both research and in clinical settings. And that is precisely what the Columbia group is pursuing. Get ready for the next data revolution.