Glossary

Oncogenesis, carcinogenesis, tumorigenesis | Carcinogenesis, also called oncogenesis or tumorigenesis, is the formation of a cancer, whereby normal cells are transformed into cancer cells. The process is characterized by changes at the cellular, genetic, and epigenetic levels and abnormal cell division. Cell division is a physiological process that occurs in almost all tissues and under a variety of circumstances. Normally the balance between proliferation and programmed cell death, in the form of apoptosis, is maintained to ensure the integrity of tissues and organs. According to the prevailing accepted theory of carcinogenesis, the somatic mutation theory, mutations in DNA and epimutations that lead to cancer disrupt these orderly processes by disrupting the programming regulating the processes, upsetting the normal balance between proliferation and cell death. This results in uncontrolled cell division and the evolution of those cells by natural selection in the body. Only certain mutations lead to cancer whereas the majority of mutations do not. [from Wikipedia…]

Synthetic Biology | The subject combines disciplines from within these domains, such as biotechnology, genetic engineering, molecular biology, molecular engineering, systems biology, membrane science, biophysics, chemical and biological engineering, electrical and computer engineering, control engineering and evolutionary biology. Synthetic biology applies these disciplines to build artificial biological systems for research, engineering and medical applications. [from Wikipedia…

Systems Biology | Systems biology is the computational and mathematical modeling of complex biological systems. It is a biology-based interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on complex interactions within biological systems, using a holistic approach (holism instead of the more traditional reductionism) to biological research. Particularly from year 2000 onwards, the concept has been used widely in biology in a variety of contexts. The Human Genome Project is an example of applied systems thinking in biology which has led to new, collaborative ways of working on problems in the biological field of genetics. One of the aims of systems biology is to model and discover emergent properties, properties of cells, tissues and organisms functioning as a system whose theoretical description is only possible using techniques of systems biology. These typically involve metabolic networks or cell signaling networks. [from Wikipedia…

Systems Microscopy | Systems Microscopy is a recent development that often refers to high-throughout high-content imaging platforms. By screening large libraries of siRNA or compounds, such microscopy tools generate large image data sets that can be mined with the mathematical approaches of Systems Biology to infer mechanistic basis of the phenotypes quantified thanks to the imaging capabilities. Often, Systems Microscopy is used as synonymous of high-content imaging and the two approaches differs mostly on their intent, i.e. Systems Microscopy has the final goal to use a Systems Biology approach. We often use the term “Systems Microscopy” to define any optical microscopy tool that is used to support the system-level description of a biological process. Our approach to Systems Microscopy does not rely on increasing the throughput of imaging platforms but to enable the direct imaging of biochemical (metabolic and signaling) networks with quantitative multiplexed technologies. Either through increased throughout or through increase content, the goal of Systems Microscopy is to provide data amenable to model the cell as a mathematical system.