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This netcast explores the rapidly changing world of biotech, with a penchant towards getting a better understanding of who we are and where we are going. The living world will soon be a true substrate for engineering. Our world will change, and so will we. 
We bring a first hand account from the scientists that are moving us into this new technological era: the era of biotech. 

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    « FiB Episode 005 - On DNA Microarrays with Dr. Andre Nantel | Main | FiB Episode 003 - Tackling Genomes with Dr. Marc Vidal (Part I) »

    FiB Episode 004 - Tackling Genomes with Dr. Marc Vidal (Part II)

    Part II - Interactome Networks (maybe we should call it Geno-Web 2.0?)

    In the last episode, Dr. Vidal described the genome as a parts list. He and his team, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, have undertaken the major challenge to find out how these parts fit together. They have genetically engineered yeast strains to make complete sets of parts, pairwise, to see if they interact. This enormous endeavor has been termed the "Interactome".

    Here, he explains how to make sense of such enormous data sets, that describe thousands upon thousands of interactions between proteins. His approach is to examine these interactions using methods similar to those used to study human social networks. He has thus been able to compare the properties of protein interaction networks with those of other large systems such the internet or an ecosystem.

    By comparing the networks of various cellular systems, he hopes to expose their vulnerabilities and also find out where the networks breakdown in the case of disease.

    For more on Dr. Vidal's work:
    DFCI Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) 
    The Vidal Laboratory 
    Nature 
    Google images 

     

    Thank you to Abigail Bird for her assistance in setting up the interview and for wiring up the podcast at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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    Reader Comments (11)

    hey, where's the new episode? You can't get us hooked and then miss out ;-)
    Seriously, I'd love to hear more.
    Btw: I was holding back on this comment because I thought that Dr. Vidal would get to more details on it in the next show, but:
    When he calculated the number of possible interactions in the interactome, he only counted binairy interactions, so A and B and B and C. Isn't it often the case that, say, B and C will only interact in the presence of A with A acting as a catalyst? Isn't the number of possible interactions much higher than if you're only looking at binary pairs? Also, isn't there a factor of time, for example as in A and B have to interact to form AB which then will act as a catalyst to C and D?

    I'm looking forward for more...

    pj

    August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterpj

    The fourth podcast was definitely the strongest. I really got the bigger picture of what Dr.Vidal is actually doing whith his research in this one. I have to admit the first interview with Dr.Vidal was a little scattered and hard to follow. Although I am very interested in the subject of Biotech I am just entering my first year of university (for Biochem) and really only have a basic high school Biology/Chemistry understanding of the subject. Anyways it's great that your doing the podcast and tell Leo to keep at it he really did a good job reigning the topic in a bit so it could be easily understood by the non-academic. Great job Guys.

    P.S. Maybe you should explain phenotype to Leo for the next episode. I don't know if Dr.Vidal's explanation was entirely clear....

    August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

    Marc and Leo. Thanks for the Futures In BioTech podcasts. I'm finding the episodes to be stimulating and remarkably understandable.

    While they have all been outstanding, Episodes #3 and #4 have been eye openers. The contrast between macro and micro research and the analogy with other forms of networks further emboldens a common brainstorming tool to think about problems from totally unique and seemingly unrelated frames of references. Rock On….

    I look forward to many more shows.

    Eric
    Richmond, VA

    August 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEric P

    This was an amazing episode. In fact, I "suffered" a bit of an epiphany that caused me to have to re-listed to the episode. My background is in Computer Systems Engineering. I never even considered that there would be a connection between networked devices, the Internet, biology, ecological systems and even human thought. It really emphasizes how important everything in this world is on the macro, micro and nano levels. Thank you so much to Leo, Dr. Vidal, and yourself for inspiring me to find out more. I am looking for more ways to apply this concept to networks and applications.

    Best regards!

    Greg Evans

    August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterThe Vista Master

    Just wanted to say thanks for the very interesting podcast on interactome networks. Keep on going!

    August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMicha

    Hi Marc,

    First let me thank you and Leo for such a great show. It's quite a treat to hear interviews with the leaders in biotech and you guys are doing a great job!

    I've listened to all of the shows and I have one small comment (if I may be so bold). Many of your questions tend to be at the "from scientist to scientist" level, and often at the "from scientist to scientist in the same field" level. However, I suspect that the general listener is not a scientist. To make the podcast more accessible, I think it would be nice to ask questions at the "informed lay-scientist to scientist" level. Leo is infact a perfect model for this. He asks wonderful questions, which are accessible to everyone, and are often the same kinds of questions your listeners might ask. As a scientist, you're in a position to teach the general, informed public about some really interesting, yet complex issues, but this requires keeping one foot in your scientist shoes, and putting the other into non-scientist shoes.

    However, maybe I'm off base here? Perhapse the general audience is happy with the level of complexity in the show?

    Thanks again for your time Marc! You are doing a great job and I hope the podcast continues to grow!

    September 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterZenBrayn

    Hi Marc,

    First let me thank you and Leo for such a great show. It's quite a treat to hear interviews with the leaders in biotech and you guys are doing a great job!

    I've listened to all of the shows and I have one small comment (if I may be so bold). Many of your questions tend to be at the "from scientist to scientist" level, and often at the "from scientist to scientist in the same field" level. However, I suspect that the general listener is not a scientist. To make the podcast more accessible, I think it would be nice to ask questions at the "informed lay-scientist to scientist" level. Leo is infact a perfect model for this. He asks wonderful questions, which are accessible to everyone, and are often the same kinds of questions your listeners might ask. As a scientist, you're in a position to teach the general, informed public about some really interesting, yet complex issues, but this requires keeping one foot in your scientist shoes, and putting the other into non-scientist shoes.

    However, maybe I'm off base here? Perhapse the general audience is happy with the level of complexity in the show?

    Thanks again for your time Marc! You are doing a great job and I hope the podcast continues to grow!

    September 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterZenBrayn

    Pelletier, congratulation on the progress and continuous improvements. Enjoy your 'pro bono' work.

    Glad that heavy breathing is gone. Hope to hear more from you and you'll get paid by sponsors.

    Well done.

    September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterryanlang

    Great podcast, keep up the good work. Given that I am working on network analysis I particularly enjoyed the historical view points from Marc Vidal's interviews.

    September 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPedro Beltrão

    Your podcasts are wonderful, and Dr. Vidal is my favorite one so far. I had to listen to each one of his interviews twice to really understand- but it was worth it!

    When are you having him back, to hear more about his work?

    December 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

    I don't have a background in biology but got interested in microbiology after reading "Life Itself". I'm a layman that thinks this series is fantastic.
    I hope Dr Vidal does another episode. The subject takes concentration when listening but I followed it all with Dr. Vidal doing such a good job explaining his work.

    Thanks Leo, Marc the the guests!

    February 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdanzeb

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