Portal:GreySmith Institute new/About17

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Bio Chemistry Lab[edit | edit source]

The Biochemistry Lab is all about how to understand what is going on in the cell bio-chemically.

As Genomics gives us more information on the critical bio-chemical pathways within the cell we begin to understand a complex, and often confusing interplay between systems that are based on chemical reactions, many of which are controlled by the availability of enzymes of one type or another. The pathways are so complex that if put on a poster, they look like wall paper the formulae are so dense.

Of interest recently are the 200 some-odd repetitive sections in the genome that might indicate regulatory enzymes where the population size of the enzymes is critical to control the health of the individual. if so, they might indicate 100 odd bio-chemical pathways that are being regulated by up and down regulation. The balance between the up regulation and down regulation is critical to the health of that pathway. The fact that such repetitive sequences are 10 times as likely to have errors in copying or transcription, suggests that they represent a vulnerability in the organism that is much greater across the population, than any single point mutation could possibly be.

Considering that there are some 2100 combinations of errors in these areas, (1.3X1030) if each error was considered a disease, just these 200 sequences would describe a classification of diseases that exceeds the volume of the whole DSM IV. Luckily only one or two such combinations are likely in a particular population, and the more that get detected at once the less likely the child is to live until maturity. As well as combinations of errors in different sequences, there is also, according to this disease model multiple errors in a single sequence to take into account. In essence this correlates to the severity and earlier onset of the symptoms, and the number of errors depends on the usual length of the sequence.

If we know what the sequences are regulating and what effect that has on the biochemical pathways involved we can build treatment regimens that overcome the regulatory failures and bring the pathways back into balance with each other.

This laboratory is about understanding the biological pathways associated with neuron function, and how the genetic diseases can tell us about the operation of the nerve cell bio-chemically.