Systems biology and tuberculosis

Microbiology Today  In the era of microbial genomics, much effort has gone into understanding the functions of individual genes. Complex metabolic events, however, rely on the interaction of multiple genes that play multiple roles and are best understood using whole-system modelling. In this article in Microbiology Today (pdf) Johnjoe McFadden explains how integrated systems methods are ideal for studying microbes and postulates that his approach could help us take on tuberculosis, one of the biggest global killers:

Microbial genome sequencing projects have released a flood of genes for most medically and industrially important microbes, including the TB bacillus. Much effort in microbial genetics is directed towards identifying the functions of these genes, particularly “orphan genes” that lack a functional homologue in other organisms…

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