Human history has been written by translating innovative exciting ideas and hypotheses into practical systems application. Moving from reductionist research, that characterizes the individual components of a system of interest, to complex dynamic in place and time gene-protein-environment interactions can change scientific thinking and revolutionize healthcare. Latest massively parallel sequencing technology and rapid advances in systems biology, bioinformatics, computational biology and mathematics provide now measurable evidence not only for the existence of networks in humans and ecosystems but also how to measure and predict non-linear complex biomolecules interplays.
All major diseases that suggest a threat for humans including cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, immunological, neurodegenerative, and behavioral conditions still remain incurable. Continuing to be based on reductionist biomedical research, traditional medicine will simply improve efficacy and reduce adverse effects of new drugs of these diseases in a required a long-term medication. But cure of major chronic disease will be probably not achieved.
Here, I describe current next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology-based advances in understanding the structure of organs, systems, and bodies of model organisms and humans. Moreover, I discuss how genetic variants and epigenetic modifications, as well as transcriptome and non-coding RNAs including microRNAs can contribute to functional networks deregulations and diseases. Next-generation medicine based on understanding of how human genome structure variation and homeostasis functional deregulation guide disease can discover robust markers and highly effective combinations of novel drugs to cure complex common diseases. Challenges and ways to overcome are evaluated in order to predict whether networks medicine , along with the Moon landings and the invention of the wheel, can be characterized as the outstanding achievement of human history.
(Citation: Gastric & Breast Cancer 2011; doi: 10.2122/gbc.2011.0154)
9 pages long, and includes 3 figures.