A Wiring Diagram for Disease

July 15, 2013

The human genome is a vast parts list for the inner works of our biology. It codes for thou­sands of pro­teins that make us who we are and keep our bodies up and run­ning. Though that parts list was worked out a decade ago, its utility remains lim­ited by the fact that we still don’t have a wiring dia­gram to go with it. That is, we don’t know how all the parts interact.

“This is where true rich­ness of phe­nomena orig­i­nates,” said Baruch Barzel, a post­doc­toral researcher in the Center for Com­plex Net­work Research, the lab run by world-​​renowned net­work sci­en­tist and Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor Albert-​​László Barabasi. “Dis­ease mech­a­nisms, as well as our healthy func­tion­ality, are all encoded not just in the genes and pro­teins, but also in how they interact to form a network.”

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