Immunoinformatics facilitates the understanding of immune function by modelling the interactions among immunological components. Biological research provides ever deeper insights into the complexity of living organisms while computer science provides an effective means to store and analyse large volumes of complex data. Combining the two fields increases the efficiency of biological research and offers the potential for major advances in the study of biological systems.
This book encompasses key developments in immunoinformatics, including immunological databases, sequence analysis, structure modelling, mathematical modelling of the immune system, simulation of laboratory experiments, statistical support for immunological experimentation and immunogenomics.
The difficulties in effective application of bioinformatic tools in immunology arise at both ends of the spectrum: most immunologists have only a limited comprehension of sophisticated data analysis and applicability and limitations, while the average computer scientist lacks knowledge of the depth and complexity of biological data. The purpose of this book, therefore, is to present contributions from a multidisciplinary team of biologists and computer scientists to explore the issues related to better understanding of immune function and, in particular, to help apply new computer science methods to immunological research.
Related Novartis Foundation symposia:
247 In Silico Simulation of Biological Processes
Chair: Denis Noble
252 Generation and effector functions of regulatory lymphocytes
Chair: Jean-François Bach
Although anaphylaxis was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century, there are still many unresolved issues. These include non-IgE-mediated anaphylactoid reactions, non-immunologically mediated anaphylactoid (pseudo-allergic) reactions, pathophysiological events at the microcirculatory level, appropriate therapy for the acute reaction, strategies for prevention, public education about the problem and new approaches to prevention and therapy at the IgE level. All these subjects are discussed in this book.
Since anaphylaxis occurs acutely and is unforeseen, it is very difficult to organize controlled studies regarding therapy and prevention. The spectrum of symptomatology covers many clinical areas (skin, respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal system), therefore inter-disciplinary approaches are necessary for progress in the field. There is widespread uncertainty among physicians about therapy, especially concerning self-administered treatment.
In this important book, an multidisciplinary group of experts explore the pathophysiology of different types of anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions. Evidence is presented on the epidemiology of these conditions while problems relating to diagnosis, therapy and prevention are examined in detail. This thorough and up-to-date coverage of the subject will be of great interest to all clinical immunologists, researchers and physicians who deal with this life-threatening condition.
Related Novartis Foundation symposia:252 Generation and effector functions of regulatory lymphocytes
Chair: Jean-François Bach Immunoinformatics: bioinformatic strategies for better understanding of immune function
Chair: Hans-Georg Rammensee Cancer and inflammation
Chair: Siamon Gordon
This book critically evaluates the latest scientific evidence on novel or re-emerging viral diseases and brings together contributions from world experts on this topic, explaining best practice in their area, and discussing lessons learned and how best to collaborate to prevent and control future outbreaks.
the latest advances in virology, particularly in the area of epidemiology diagnostics animal models for viral infection antiviral and vaccine development
Topics covered include:
Novel and Re-emerging Respiratory Viral Diseases offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary account of all aspects of the topic, from basic molecular biology to public health issues, and is therefore essential reading for virologists, infectious disease specialists, public health managers, researchers and epidemiologists, as well as those working in vaccine development, pharmaceutical medicine and drug discovery
This book deals with the molecular aspects of fatty acid action in obesity and insulin resistance. The topics include lipid metabolism and adipose tissue biology, and β cell function and insulin resistance. Chapters deal with the molecular genetics and molecular physiology of energy homeostasis.
This book explores both theoretical and practical issues of tinkering. It features a wide range of perspectives to address several fundamental questions. How does tinkering occur developmentally, and how is it manifested phenotypically? Are the developmental mechanisms by which tinkering occur different from those that underlie larger evolutionary changes? What are the developmental constraints on tinkering? And how do we test hypotheses about microevolutionary shifts in development from the fossil record?
With contributions from experts in a range of fields, this fascinating book makes exciting reading for anyone studying evolution, developmental biology or genetics.
On a global basis, the dietary supplement industry has enjoyed rapid growth, becoming a multi-billion dollar enterprise over the last 10 years. This growth has been associated with significant changes in both the types of products available and the reasons for using these products.
In many cases, these changes have occurred without the benefit of a sound scientific basis for evaluating the safety and efficacy of these products under the new conditions of use and frequently the same limited scientific evidence is used, even though current product composition, user populations, purported beneficial effects, and conditions of use may differ significantly from the available evidence or historical usage.
This book presents systematic examinations of the scientific data that are available and/or needed to substantiate and evaluate the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements. A series of case studies that are illustrative of the types of scientific challenges that have been encountered in substantiating safety and efficacy for various product types are employed to point out some of the successes but also frustrations that have occurred in recent years. Discussions among presenters and participants identify the lessons learned from these experiences and formulate ideas for improved approaches to identifying research needs and for enhancing the quality and relevance of the scientific evidence available for policy decisions.
Dietary Supplements and Health constitutes a useful resource for nutritionists, biochemists, public health researchers and anyone interested in herbal, alternative medicines.
Specific problems addressed include the following:What kinds of information are we lacking to understand how the genome sequence specifies the differentiation and response of immune system cells, and system behaviour such as immunological memory and tolerance? Which genome sequences and cellular circuits cause or prevent pathological immune responses to foreign pathogens, allergens or self-tissues? Which host and pathogen genome sequences and cellular circuits explain the failure of sterilizing immune responses to sophisticated human pathogens such as the agents of tuberculosis, malaria, metazoan parasites and chronic viruses?
Containing contributions from a range of leading experts in the field, this book provides an important new perspective for clinical immunologists and basic researchers alike.
The book addresses all of these important questions. Data are presented on the key proteins that regulate cell shape: the GTP binding proteins of the Rho family. There are also extensive discussions of the potential applications of the data to clinical problems, particularly that of cell motility in cancer.
Potential clinical applications covered in the book include the production of cardiomyocytes to replace damaged heart tissue, the production of insulin-producing cells for patients with diabetes, and the generation of neurons for the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease or spinal cord injury. Particular attention is paid to the factors that maintain stem cells in a pluripotent state or which drive them to create differentiated and lineage-committed cells in vitro and in vivo. Nuclear reprogramming, the process by which a nucleus acquires developmental potential, is covered here as well. It is relevant to stem cell research generally, and also to research on the cloning of animals by nuclear transfer.
This book is an essential purchase for all those engaged in stem cell research, whether in the laboratory, the clinic or the regulatory authorities.
From the reviews:
"...this book provides: a comprehensive overview of current issues in stem cell research, with contributions from leading figures..."
—BRITISH SOCIETY OF CELL BIOLOGY
Molecular genetic studies have provided detailed information on the pathogenesis of retinal dystrophies. An important proof of principle that gene therapy holds great promise for the treatment of these conditions was demonstrated in the rds mouse: introduction of a functional copy of the peripherin gene subretinally resulted in complete rescue of rod outer segment structure. Novel approaches are being developed based on the manipulation of biochemical pathways that previously were not considered relevant to these diseases. For example, renewed interest in retinal dystrophy pathogenesis led to the successful use of high dose vitamin A treatment in Sorsby fundus dystrophy.
This important new book covers all aspects of retinal dystrophies from the molecular and developmental biology of these disorders to possible therapeutic approaches, with special reference to gene therapy. Specific chapters deal with the molecular genetics of gene therapies, clinical genetic studies, molecular and cellular mechanisms of the development of the disease, functional genomics of retinal diseases, animal models of retinal dystrophies, and finally with studies on gene therapeutic approaches to correcting the disorder. With contributions by many of the leading researchers worldwide, this book is likely to be an important milestone in this rapidly developing field.
Excerpt from Out of the Fog
I miss a fireplace. A working fireplace. Or rather, a fireplace of delights and dreams – and real logs, real fire. I grew up with a fireplace in our living room, not used for heat, but for warmth, beauty, visions, friendliness. We carefully cleaned the fireplace each Christmas Eve, so Santa would not be covered in ash. On Christmas Day, we lit the fire using as kindling the few Christmas wrappings my mother deemed unsalvageable for another year. The fireplace crackled, snapped, and exuded good cheer all December 25th and New Year’s as it did on Thanksgiving, and on snowy January, February, and March days and evenings.
The fire removed the chill of fog in fall and spring, and in the hurricane became briefly a working fireplace, for heat, for light, for cooking, most of all, for the vision of coziness amidst the tempest’s roar. Even in summer, when the days turned damp and shivery, the fire would be lit and we’d gather in its glow for fun and games. I still have the old wire popcorn popper we jiggled above the flames, waiting with bated breath for that first distinctive POP and then in exultation as the kernels exploded in a delicious cacophony of pows! I have lost years ago the wire marshmallow and hot dog toasters that the bold thrust into the flames (those of us who liked blackened marshmallows and hot dogs that split, taking the risk of losing them to the fire god) and the more genteel held with tense concentration hovering over the embers for perfectly browned outside, sumptuously melted inside, marshmallows. I remember my thirteenth birthday an icy, wind-whistling, February night when ten teen girls toasted and roasted and tried to scare each other silly with ghost stories as the fire died slowly down and the room grew dark – until mother returned with hot chocolate and in her matter of fact manner stirred up the fire with a poker, adding a new log for good measure, breaking the spell of titillating terror. We turned to giggling over riddles, jokes, and songs featuring a lot of mindless alliteration.
I remember the dinner parties as an adult when talk would turn from children to gossip to politics to God – somehow the fire drew us into an intimacy and warmth that went beyond the heat upon our faces. I remember so many faces, some grown, some gone, but all faces that turned more friendly around the fire, that gentled into peace, sharing the best of themselves in the steadfast glow.
If you have such a fireplace, invite your friends over, stockpile wood for the storm, or light a log alone and listen to the fire’s song. If, like me, your fireplace is in a room long gone from you, remember those of your past and those who shared them, and be thankful. Remember also those who have sat with you beside all the fires of your life, those who need no fireplace of bricks and mortar to laugh with you, and eat with you, and share your fears and delights. The fireplace may no longe
This book features contributions from the world’s leading researchers working on dengue and related flaviviruses who examine the current state of the art in the molecular biology of the dengue virus. Particular emphasis is placed on the structure and function of the virus and the targeting of virus proteins by potential antiviral agents. The pathogenesis of dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever are discussed in detail, especially the target cells and the specific receptors on these cells, thereby developing a clear overview of host and viral factors that contribute to dengue haemorrhagic fever. Finally, the book reviews the therapeutic options, paying particular attention to ways in which vector, host and environment can play a critical role in the spread of this disease.
With dengue fever and other emerging viral diseases becoming increasingly prevalent around the world, this book provides valuable insight into the virus that causes this disease and potential ways to manage it. It is essential reading for all those working in tropical diseases, public health and virology.
Praise from the reviews:
"The book provides an excellent summary of dengue/flavivirus research and is important for individuals and institutions interested in emerging infectious diseases." MICROBIOLOGY TODAY
The structures of the rhodopsin molecule are studied in the fields of protein chemistry, molecular biology, organic chemistry and structural biology; the ultra fast reactions of the retinal protein are studied in physics, biophysics, physical chemistry, organic chemistry and photobiology; the phototransduction in retinal proteins and visual cells are studied in biophysics, biochemistry, biophysical chemistry and photobiology; and the localization in the tissues is studied in anatomy and histochemistry. The diversity of visual systems in various animals is studied in zoology and comparative biochemistry.