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Researchers Create Human-Metabolism Model

An international consortium of researchers are using the power of supercomputing to produce what they say is the most comprehensive virtual reconstruction of human metabolism available, which could help identify and create individualized treatments for a wide range of diseases. Recon 2 is based on work by University of California, San Diego, researchers and could help study and treat of cancer and diabetes, as well as psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Metabolism is the conversion of food sources into energy. Metabolic imbalances can play a role in disease. In turn, genetics, environment, and nutrition play a role in metabolism. High-powered computing has enabled scientists to construct huge interactive databases of biological data regarding metabolic pathways and analyze the information they contain. UC San Diego researchers built Recon 1 in 2007, basing it on more than 3,300 known biochemical reactions documented in more than 50 years of metabolic research. Recon 2, by contrast, includes information on about 7,400 reactions contributed by researchers worldwide. The researchers presented Recon 2 in a paper published online this month in the journal Nature Biotechnology. (EurekAlert)(University of California, San Diego @ EurekAlert)(Recon 2)

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