Cell Communication
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Engineering Computational Biology
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    Cell Communication

    Cells may be thought of as wet ‘computers' and are used by biological organisms for processing environmental information and forming appropriate responses (among other things). Instead of wire, diodes and capacitors, cells use networks of chemical reactions to transmit and modify environmental signals to the cell nucleus or to neighbouring cells.

    These signalling networks are critical to many key processes and events in an organisms life - from the fundamental ‘big questions', such as: how is a adult organism formed from a fertilised egg (developmental biology)?; what is the cause (and cure) for cancer; how does the brain work?, to important physiological functions such as how is bone density regulated and what causes the heart to contract.

    Developing a greater understanding of any of these processes would be enormously beneficial. Applications include regenerative medicine, drug target identification in a range of diseases (including cancer), metabolic engineering for drug manufacture and bioremediation, and the prevention of birth defects.

    A common characteristic of these signalling networks is their complexity. The techniques of engineering and mathematics can be used to understand these complex systems. Unfortunately most biologists do not have this knowledge base. Likewise most engineers do not have knowledge of biology. There is an enormous role for biologically-literate engineers in this area.

    Projects within this research theme are:

        Groovy biomedical image  

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The University of Western Australia
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Last updated: July 15 2015 09:16:55.