National Seminar on the Current Trends In Genomics And Proteomics

In the future, most of the treatment for diseases, especially lifestyle diseases, will be individualised, based on the protein components of the individual, according to DBT Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Genetic Engineeing, Madurai Kamaraj University K. Dharmalingam.

Delivering the keynote address titled ‘Current Trends in proteomics and its uses in clinical medicine' at the National Seminar on the Current Trends In Genomics And Proteomics at Pondicherry University on Wednesday, Mr. Dharmalingam said although the genetic code for most people is very similar, the difference between two individuals was based on the proteomics or protein components of each cell. These proteomics were the translation or transcription of the genetic code in an individual, he said. Proteomics would soon make it possible for doctors to treat a disease before the symptoms even appeare.

One example of proteomics in action was in the research conducted on fungal keratitis, which is a disease of the eye. In many individuals the fungus that causes this disease is present in their eyes, however the infection does not take place until there is a scratch in the eye, he said.

This disease can only be detected after the symptoms set in, at which point it becomes incurable. However, a test of an individual's tears could detect whether the person had fungal keratitis or not, even before the symptoms were evident. This would help to cure the disease, he said.

Th seminar was sponsored by the Department of Information Technology, New Delhi and was organised by the department of bio-informatics in order to highlight the various trends in the field of genomics (study of the genetic code of an individual) and proteomics (study of the protein complements of an individual).

These fields would help in the development of individualised medicine, said a Department of Bio-informatics official.