SCIENCE & ENGINEERING NEWS
Princeton, N.J. — Physiome Sciences, Inc. announced the formation of a CellML Advisory Board. Members of the Board represent key areas of biological modeling, and will assist in optimizing the specifications and capabilities of the CellML language, an XML-based mark-up language designed to represent and exchange computer-based biological models and their components.
The new members of this Advisory Board include Dr. Dennis Bray, Professor of Zoology at the University of Cambridge and the principle architect of StochSim, a stochastic modeling cell simulation software; Professor Daniel Gardner, Professor of Physiology & Biophysics in the Laboratory of Neuroinformatics at Cornell University Medical College in New York City; Dr. Robert Kass, Chairman and David Hosack, Professor of Pharmacology in the Center for Neurobiology & Behavior at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons; and Professor Leslie Loew, Professor of Physiology and Director, Center for Biomedical Imaging Technology at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
“Physiome is taking an active and committed role in developing language standards for biological modeling,” stated Dr. Tom Colatsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Physiome and co-chairman of the Advisory Board. “We are pleased to add the involvement of these distinguished individuals to this effort. All those interested in participating in this effort should contact us.”
“These languages will play an important role in helping scientists use mathematical modeling to understand integrative biological function,” commented Professor Peter Hunter of the University of Auckland and a co-chairman of the Advisory Board. “Having continuing input, via the CellML Advisory Board, to the development of the languages from leading scientists working in a wide variety of biological research areas is vitally important.”
Earlier this quarter, Physiome Sciences launched the CellML website, http://www.CellML.org , to provide a tool to standardize and streamline the creation of computer-based models of cells, organs, and tissues. The website represents a major step forward in allowing scientists to create and customize computer models that integrate data from a wide variety of sources, including genomic, proteomic, cell and organ studies, and public and private databases. The website will allow the rapid development and exchange of “virtual” models of living cells, tissues and organs among researchers worldwide. In addition, the site provides users with tools to define cell functions in a standard language using their own software platforms.
The CellML language allows scientists to share models even if they are using different model-building software. It also enables them to reuse components from one model in another, thereby accelerating model building. The CellML language is expected to enable scientists to more effectively manage and interpret gene and protein data and apply it to study diseases, identify potential drug targets and test new drugs “in silico.” The language will be developed as a common standard that will be available free of charge to all users.
The web site resulted from collaboration between Physiome and the University of Auckland to develop and maintain a standardized computer language, CellML, for computer models of biological systems. CellML is an Extensible Markup Language (XML) that provides a single means of integrating biological data in a platform-independent way. The University of Auckland team developed language standards for describing anatomical data and the distribution of biological properties in three dimensions, while Physiome Sciences and the University of Auckland developed XML-based descriptions of cellular and subcellular processes, including biochemical pathways.
Physiome Sciences, Inc., a privately held technology company, is a leader in the commercial development of software tools, proprietary databases, and web applications for simulating life processes. This biological operating system can be harnessed to model cells, tissues and organs, in a virtual setting, enabling scientists to generate predictive information using their own data. Drug developers, for example, use Physiome’s operating system and models to predict the effects of specific drugs on animals and humans. This greatly speeds the selection of drugs for entry into human trials. The selection process becomes more rational and potentially increases drug quality at an early stage of development. This release and additional news about Physiome can be obtained by visiting the Company’s Web site at: http://www.physiome.com .