U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Defining the Role of Predictive Modeling for Rational Biological Engineering
Published: April 13, 2009
Posted: April 24, 2009

The field of genomics is moving toward rational re-engineering of microbes that could provide new technologies for DOE's energy and environment missions.  Nitin Baliga and co-authors at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) have just published an article in Nature Reviews Microbiology (Volume 7, pages 297-305, April 2009) that discusses current research in genomics and the opportunities for significant advances provided by the integration of new technologies such as synthetic biology, systems biology, and predictive modeling. The authors point out that biological systems do not readily adapt to large changes in their metabolic or regulatory systems that alter the balance of energy or resources.  New strategies are needed to overcome this obstacle that bring together separate efforts in systems biology and synthetic biology using simultaneous global modeling and systems optimization. This multi-scale approach to experimental characterization and redesign of microbial cells and microbial communities will provide a foundation for applying microbial biology to achieve new sources of energy and to solve problems in environmental contamination.

Contact: Susan Gregurick, SC-23.2, (301) 903-7672, Arthur Katz, SC-23.2. (301) 903-4932
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Subsurface Biogeochemical Research
  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: Biosystems Design
  • Research Area: Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Modeling

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


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