Introduction: The Proteom Code: Journey to the Cell's Core (02:36)
The proteom contains the building blocks of life; an international effort is being made to decode it. Professors, doctors, and scientists discuss the value of understanding proteins for treatment of disease.
Progress in Protein Analysis (02:40)
Recent advancements in protein research provide insight into gene and disease relations. Joanna, a three year old with leukemia, has received treatment based on individualized molecular research; her parents discuss her improvements. Chemotherapy does not differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells, creating side effects.
Proteom Function (03:22)
Professor Bernhard Kuster and his research team have cataloged over 18,000 proteins present in humans; proteins provide structural elements and control vital cellular processes. Genes contain the template for several proteins, of which there are one million variants structuring and determining both health and disease.
Child Leukemia Case (02:35)
Joanna is treated with a specific therapy targeting cancer cells, and no longer receives chemotherapy treatments. Her doctor and parents discuss the bold decision to switch to molecular therapy. Child tumors are genetically less complex, making them easier to study and treat.
The proteom is dynamic, varying with environmental and other factors; knowing protein types and changes in a cell's molecular processes aids in targeted treatment of diseases. Professor David Agus describes the difference protein analysis has made to treating breast cancer; he explains it as something the body does, not gets.
Patient Sabina (04:32)
Sabina was diagnosed with uterine cancer; she has undergone operations, chemotherapy, and recurrence; her life is dictated by the illness. Doctor Anne Letsch discusses the rapid mutation of her patient's cancer cells and their affect; she is able to recommend specific, targeted therapy based on new analytical research. Sabina expresses renewed hope for the molecular treatment option.
Clinical Task Force (03:25)
Targeted therapy fights tumors at the molecular level; cancers result from proteins transmitting too many growth signals. At the Comprehensive Cancer Center, computer scientists, doctors, and biologists discuss new therapy models based on continuously changing protein systems in order to prevent their metastasis. Tumor cells can learn how to avoid treatment, resulting in relapse; Professor Ulrich Keilholz points out diseased tissues on a computer sample.
Pathological Studies (03:16)
At Professor Frederick Klauschen's laboratory, tumor samples are prepared for study and examined; he determines a lymph node metastasis of a carcinoma. Samples are further processed and inspected for malignancy. New molecular analysis determines specific characteristics and tumor profiles, resulting in a mass of data.
Tumor cell analysis results in a mass of data requiring advanced computer technology for interpretation and experimental treatment. Professor Burkhard Rost discusses the transformation of Biology by creating experiments through automated procedure and data conversion. Bioinformatics provides relevant data sets; treatment options can be tried on a computer model without damage to the patient.
Using Computer Models (02:48)
Bodo Lange describes processing genetic material and loading it into sequencing operators in order to build computer models. Patients need personalized treatment; there are wide variations of tumors. Molecular avatars allow for treatment experimentation on a large scale.
Mass Spectrometry (04:08)
Professor Matthias Mann has revolutionized proteom research through development of mass spectrometry; 10,000 proteins have now been identified in human cells and organs, as well as the central proteom of several cancers. The system is used at Beijing Proteom Research Center; Jun Qin discusses the five year plan for the facility and his focus on China's number two killer, gastric cancer.
Neurological Disorders (02:38)
Professor Seth Grant describes the molecular machines within synapses and the genetic mutations causing protein synthesis malfunctions. In 2011, the organized proteins in human synapses were characterized; gene mutations were found responsible for over 130 brain diseases.
Human Beings as Protein Construction Kits (04:30)
Proteins live and function in networks, and can be viewed experimentally and interpreted by computer models. George Church discusses his work as a synthetic biologist; proteins can be created in a lab or manufactured in humans through gene therapy. Professor Markus Hengstschlager predicts the use of nanotechnologies for disease treatment and poses resulting ethical questions.
Continuing Developments (03:38)
The proteome structure of a drop of blood reveals the complexity of its networks and the necessity for technological advancements. Computer models currently provide rough pictures of proteins; researchers want a detailed map. Scientists are optimistic and discuss current progress.
Credits: The Proteom Code: Journey to the Cell's Core (00:32)
Credits: The Proteom Code: Journey to the Cell's Core
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