New genes formed continuously allowing acquisition of novel functions during evolution

Why are there genes that can only be detected in humans or chimpanzees and that cannot be found in any other species? How are new genes formed during evolution?

Barcelona, 11 January, 2016 - Research just published in the journal Plos Genetics has found that gaining new genes during evolution is a much more frequent event than previously thought. It has been seen that there are hundreds of genes that might be unique to humans, and something similar occurs in chimpanzees. Some of these genes will be useful for the organism in question and the rest will disappear in time. The work was led by Mar Albà, an ICREA researcher of the Evolutionary genomics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) and Jorge Ruiz-Orera, from the same group, together with researchers from Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG).

For some time it was thought that all new genes originated from other genes, for example, from duplications of already existing genes. But recently it has been seen that some, the so-called de novo genes, originate in genomic regions that previously contained none. According to Mar Albà "This work shows that the formation of DNA motifs, through the accumulation of random mutations, would have been a determining factor in the emergence of new genes." DNA motifs are elements that activate gene expression.

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The IBI group became a node of the Nanopublication Network with a new release of DisGeNET

The Integrative Biomedical Informatics Group is pleased to announce the second release of DisGeNET nanopublications that is a linked dataset implemented by combining the nanopublication approach and the Trusty Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) technique. In this new exciting Data Science era, nanopublications are an emerging approach of publishing structured data that allows the tracking of provenance along with the scientific statement. The Trusty URIs is a novel technique to make resources in the Web immutable and verifiable, and to ensure the unambiguity of the data linking in the Semantic Web. 

In addition, we are happy to announce that our group has become a new node, and the first one in Spain, of the Nanopublication Network, which is a new decentralized server network to release and retrieve Linked Data as nanopublications in a reliable and trustworthy manner. Please see the current nodes at the nanopub-network monitor. This work has been done in collaboration with Dr. Tobias Kuhn (VU University Amsterdam), who is an expert in Semantic Web approaches. DisGeNET nanopublications are available in this new distributed nanopublication server network.

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The Institute for Catalan Studies dedicates a journey to Bioinformatics

News from DCEXS website

The great bioscientific challenge of today is to manage and operate flexibly the deluge of scientific data which are currently available. Likewise, computational biology is the branch of life sciences research that focuses precisely in the application of IT tools in order to make sense of this huge amount of information grows exponentially.

Within the global trend of growth in this field of biosciences, Catalonia, thanks to the creation of powerful technological platforms and networks that interrelate research teams that work on it, has been at the forefront of bioinformatics and computational biology. In this context, and with more than one hundred and fifty subscribed researchers, the Institute for Catalan Studies celebrated on Friday, 18 December, the third edition of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Symposium, organized by the Catalan Society for Biology (SCB) and the Bioinformatics Barcelona Association (BIB). 

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New computational approach to predicting adverse drug reactions with higher confidence

200,000 people die every year in Europe from these adverse effects, seven times more than in traffic accidents.

A new integrated computational method helps predicting adverse drug reaction-which are often lethal-more reliably than with traditional computing methods. This improved ability to foresee the possible adverse effects of drugs may entail saving many lives in the future. The study that is being conducted by researchers from Systems Pharmacology group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF), and the company Chemotargets, within the framework of the European project eTOX, was chosen for the cover of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Jordi Mestres, coordinator of the Systems Pharmacology group of GRIB states 'With this study we have contributed to complementing the detection of these quite unstable fragments, with information on the mechanism of action of the drug, based on three aspects: similarity to other medicines, prediction of their pharmacological profile, and interference with specific biological pathways. The optimal integration of these four aspects results in a clear improvement of our ability to anticipate adverse effects with higher confidence, which entails an extremely positive impact on society'.

Click here to watch interview to Jordi Mestres at L'Illa de Robinson (El Punt TV)

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Thesis defence of Janet Piñero on December the 17th: "Computational approaches and resources to support translational research in human diseases"

Next thursday, 17th of  December at 11.00 h, Janet Piñero González, member of the Integrative Biomedical Informatics group of GRIB will defense her thesis "Computational approaches and resources to support translational research in human diseases" at Josep Marull room placed on the ground floor of Doctor Aiguader, 80 (Campus Mar Building). You are all invited to this event.

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Thesis defense of Christian Pérez Llamas " Computational approaches for integrative cancer genomics ".

Next friday 18th of December, at 11.00 h at the classroom number 473.10, placed at the fourth floor of the PRBB building, Christian Pérez Llamas, member of the Biomedical Genomics group of GRIB will defend his thesis: "Computational approaches for integrative cancer genomics ". You are all invited to this event.

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Thesis defence of Pau Carrió on Friday the 11th of December "Development of advanced strategies for the prediction of toxicity endpoints in drug development"

Next friday, 11th of December at 10:00, Pau Carrió, member of the PharmacoInformatics group of GRIB will defense his thesis "Development of advanced strategies for the prediction of toxicity endpoints in drug development" at room 473.10 at PRBB. You are all invited to this event.

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BioCloud, a new startup with the participation of GRIB

A new startup BioCloud, has been created with the participation of Alba Gutiérrez-Sacristan, researcher of the  Integrative Biomedical Informatics Group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) as Chief Science Officer (CSO).

The newborn startup BioCloud aims to provide cloud solutions for bioinformatic challenges such as the lack of computational power, lack of reproducibility of data analysis or data sharing difficulties among others. The startup also provides teaching tools for university courses and workshops when high computational power or data storage is needed.

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A day dedicated to the most innovative in silico strategies in biomedical research

The aim of the annual DCEXS symposium is to show the department's research programmes and promote the education of the young researchers, as well as provide a place where the researchers can discuss their latest results.

The DCEXS director, Arcadi Navarro, will welcome the journey together with Jorge Cuneo, the medical director of Novartis and patron of the 25 th anniversary of the UPF, and Ferran Sanz, director of GRIB. Among the invited speakers are Marta Filizola, principal investigator at the Department of Structural and Chemical Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York); Joaquin Dopazo, director of the Department of Computational Genomics of the Príncipe Felipe Research Centre (Valencia), and Alfonso Valencia, leader of the Computational and Structural Biology group of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and director of the Spanish National Institute for Bioinformatics. The program is completed with a number of leading researchers in biomedicine that will explore advances in the in silico strategies.

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Thesis defence of José Luis Villanueva-Cañas: "Insights into mammalian adaptive evolution through genomics data"

On 20th of November at 15:00, José Luis Villanueva-Cañas, member of the Evolutionary Genomics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) will defend his thesis  "Insights into mammalian adaptive evolution through genomics data" at Sala Ramón y Cajal (PRBB ground floor). You are all invited to this event.

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