But a group of mathematics has discovered a novel method of thinking about such concepts that might aid setting the platform for better comprehension of our bodies and other living organisms. The group from the University of Michigan Medical School and University of California, Berkeley introduces a structure for employing math to comprehend how genetic data and interactions between cells give rise to the actual function of a specific sort of tissue.
They identified it is an exceedingly idealized framework, not one that takes into considering every detail of this procedure, known as ‘emergence of function.’ But by stepping back and making a simplified model based on mathematics, they expect to prepare a basis for researchers to comprehend the alterations that happen over time within and between cells to make living tissues possible. It could also aid in understanding how cancer cells may occur when things are improperly planned.
The duo of Berkeley lecturer emeritus Stephen Smale, Ph.D. and U-M Medical School assistant lecturer of Computational Medicine India Rajapakse, Ph.D. have worked on the concepts for numerous years. “The entire time, this procedure is happening in our bodies, as cells are arising and dying, and yet they keep the function of such tissue going,” says Rajapakse. “We need to employ beautiful mathematics and biology together to comprehend the beauty of the tissue.”
For the novel research, they even went back to the work of Alan Turing, the revolutionary British mathematician popular for his ‘Turning Machine’ computer that cracked Nazi codes during the World War II. By the end of his life, turning began looking at the mathematical underpinnings of morphogenesis, the procedure that enables natural patterns like a zebra’s stripes to develop as a living thing expands from an embryo to an adult. “Our method adapts Turning’s method, linking genome dynamics within the cell and the diffusion dynamics between cells,” says Rajapakse, who headed the U-M 4D+ Genome Lab in the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Medicine.
As a result of his study with Smale, Rajapakse now has funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA to keep exploring the issue of emergence of function comprising what happens when the procedure alters. Cancer, for example, occurs from a cell development and proliferation cycle gone awry. And the procedure by which induced pluripotent stem cells are made in a lab, essentially turning back the clock on a cell sort so that it regains the potential to become other cell sorts, is another example.
He is also organizing a cluster of mathematics from around the world to look at computational biology and the genome this summer in Barcelona. “The cell cycle is the most accurate, beautiful thing,” says Rajapakse
Filed Under: News