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FP6

PROUST — Result In Brief

Project ID: 37654
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: Italy

The role of time in biological processes

The dimension of ‘time’ is emerging as a critical element for gene expression and regulation. A European consortium emphasised the time-dependence of biological processes and the role of temporal dimension in disease.
The role of time in biological processes
Understanding and monitoring of functions and biological processes at the molecular, cellular and system levels is crucial for differentiating health from disease. The interaction between genes and proteins, also known as functional genomics, varies with time and represents a determining factor for choosing the appropriate therapy.

The key objective of the EU-funded project ‘The temporal dimension in functional genomics’ (Proust) aimed to raise awareness about the importance of time in biological processes, drug development and discovery, as well as personalised medicine. The project focused on specific gene products and signalling pathways in functional genomics in relation to time. The aim was to standardise the tools used across Europe to analyse the element of time.

Proust project members organised meetings and workshops for students of different disciplines, aiming to foster and spread knowledge on the temporal dimension of biological processes. By bringing together scientists from different fields of research, the project succeeded in coordinating knowledge on the 'timing' of functional genomics and identifying therapeutic targets with time-dependent optimal susceptibilities.

Through the Proust activities, it has become clear that the 'time' dimension constitutes a common denominator in various systems studied in different disciplines. The project managed to convey the importance of studying the time dependence of the dynamic association of networks of genes, as well as of genes and proteins. Although the temporal dimension adds to the existing level of complexity of biological systems, taking this parameter into consideration will help unravel the mechanisms underlying various disorders.

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