Russian Journal of Developraental Biology. Vol. 3L No. 3. 2000, p. 192. Translated from Ontogenez, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2000. pp. 235-236. Original Rusxian Text Copyright 9 2000/7 3" Kixele~ CHRONICLES L. L. Kiselev Engelhardt Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Vavilova 32. Moscow, 117894 Russia more discipline, proteomics, which studies the sets of The biology of the past century was, undoubtedly, reductionist. Its general trend was expressed in the proteins in the cells at various physiological states and appearance and burst of scientific disciplines, such as the functions of these proteins. biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, molecu- Genomics and proteomics operate with such huge lar genetics, virology, cell biology, and bioorganic arrays of structural information that an acute requirement chemistry. All of these disciplines are united by an aspira- in bioinformatics has arisen where new information is col- tion to explain the phenomena of life through the descrip- lected, sorted, described, analyzed, and processed. Natu- tion of the properties of molecules, first of all, biopoly- rally, the progress of bioinformatics depends on the devel- mers, which constitute the living organisms. In current sci- opment of new mathematical methods, computational ence, all of these directions are often united under the technology, information networks, and other "nonbiologi- general heading "physicochemical biology" while classi- car' factors, in addition to the initial data provided by cal biological disciplines, such as zoology, botany, embry- genomics and proteomics. There is a significant difference ology, etc., are referred to as "general biology" between genomics and proteomics: the genorne is stable Events have recently taken place in biology that show for a given species, since mutations occur very rarely, the conditionality of this division and suggest a new gen- while the proteome is different not only for different cells eral approach called integratism. Unlike reductionism, of the same organism but also for the same cells with respect to its state (division, dormancy, differentiation, integratism tends not to divide the biological phenomenon into components but to provide an integral picture of the etc.). Therefore, thousands upon thousands of proteomes in even the simplest organism, not to mention humans, are entire phenomenon on the basis of the properties of its components. Naturally, the volume of knowledge required very difficult to study. However, new strategies, such as for the realization of this integral approach is much larger biological microchips, phage display, mass-spectrometry, than for the reductionist approach. Where can this huge and some others, have recently produced a new methodi- volume of additional information required for the new cal foundation of genomics and proteomics. Therefore, integrative strategy of life cognition be obtained from? the coming decade will be a time of new methodical think- ing, which will lead to a substantial revision of many gen- The answer is genomics, proteomics, and bioinfor- eral biological concepts. matics. Within ten years, the International Program of the Human Genome, coordinated by the Human In addition to the purely practical significance for Genome Organization, succeeded m organizing, health sciences (prognostication, diagnosis, genother- through national genome programs, a giant program of apy, and pharmacology), the new knowledge will espe- work that led to striking results which surpassed even cially affect developmental biology. It will be possible the boldest prognoses of optimists. By the end of 1999, to obtain integral and, at the same time, sufficiently the genome was deciphered for many dozens of bacte- detailed notions of individual cells, from the egg and ria and archebacteria, yeasts, a nematode, Drosophila, spermatozoon to the differentiated cells. This will and Arabidopsis, i.e., not only lower eukaryotes but allow us for the first time to follow the interaction of also an insect and a plant. Approximately 10% of the individual cells at different developmental stages, human genome has been deciphered; for example, the which was always a dream for developmental biolo- chromosome 22 DNA structure was fully deciphered. gists. The triad genomics-proteomics-bioinformatics According to well-founded prognoses, 98% of the will also markedly affect the classical biological disci- entire human genome will be deciphered by between plines, such as the theory of evolution and taxonomy. It is 2001 and 2003. Let us remind readers that this genome evident that biologists in the new century will be able to comprises three billion nucleotide pairs. The decipher- approach so far unsolved problems, such as carcinogene- ing of genomes gave rise to a new biological discipline, sis and aging, with levels of knowledge and information genomics, which was divided, in turn, into comparative that exceed by several orders of magnitude those that biol- and functional branches. Functional genomics (which ogists in the last century had at their disposal. studies the functions of genes) called into being one The new century will bring a new integral biology, whose contours have been outlined but whose effects i Abstract of the lecture dedicated to the 95th anniversary of Boris on natural science and the fate of humankind are still L. Astaurov at the Kol'tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences. difficult to fully comprehend. 9 2000 MAIK "Nauka /lnterperiodica'" 1062-3604/00/3103-0192525.00
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 18, 2007
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