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WCG Status Update

WCG Post

HPF2 Update

Hello Crunchers,

Hopefully all is going well on your end. We are doing very well here in the Bonneau Lab, busy analyzing the HPF data. We have a couple of items to cover in this status update. The first item is a new publication by some of our collaborators at Harvard who used HPF domain predictions to help advance their studies of developmental genetics. They are specifically interested in how organisms grow and develop and what proteins are required for these processes to take place. Just knowing what proteins are involved however does not answer all the questions. The big question is how these proteins interact with each other.

There are techniques to quickly probe whether a protein interacts with another protein and Dr. Mike Boxem, the lead author in this study, used a standard method along with a novel method he developed for determining the region of the protein that is involved in the interaction. That is, we knew before that two proteins were interacting but now we can tell what part of the protein is responsible for the interaction. The method was then applied to C. elegans (a model organism) and built a network of interacting proteins.

Specifically, the HPF domain predictions were used to compare to the discovered interacting regions to validate and provide insight into what portion of the protein is required for an interaction to take place. And even though this work involved many researchers from many different institutions, this part of the work would not have been possible without your participation so we made sure the WCG was acknowledged in the paper. "We are grateful to ... IBM's World Community Grid (".

Mike Boxem et al. "Protein Domain-Based Interactome Network for C. elegans Early Embryogenesis". 2008

The next bit of news is that we recently hired another programmer, Patrick, who will be working on HPF. Patrick is skilled in the arts of computer science and is ninja-like in his data analysis abilities. :-D So if you could welcome the new guy and try not to haze him to much.

Finally, a quick word about the 2008 Presidential Election. I know that many important issues have been center stage in this election cycle but one that has not been discussed as much as it should are the candidates' stances on science policy. A grassroots organization named Science Debate 2008 ( has been pushing for greater examination of the candidates' science polices and was able to get answers to 14 questions on the most pressing topics. I urge you to review some of their answers and inform yourself about the positions of your other elected officials. For even more information you can check out SEA ( I am assuming since all of you participate in the World Community Grid, you all have a strong interest in science and believe in its benefits to our society.

It is important that you are informed and it is important that you vote.

Thanks again for all your help and we look forward to seeing more results coming from you in the future.

Bonneau Lab

organism description status
plasmodium falciparum causes most deadly form of malaria (finished)
B. anthracis causative agent of anthrax (finished)
Gram-negative pathogens responsible for many food-borne illnesses and sexually transmitted diseases (finished)
Bacillus_subtilis model organism for studying evolution and other pathogenic organisms (finished)
GOS new antibiotics, new industrial enzymes, new organisms that bind toxic metals (finished)
plasmodium vivax recently sequenced genome which causes malaria, usually not deadly but truly awful disease (finished)
Phytoplankton responsible for a large portion of the oxygen in our atmosphere and interesting for its impacts on climate change (finished)
rice major food source for a large portion of the worlds population (current)
arabidopsis model organism for studying plants (not done)
Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease in Central and South America (not done)
Methanococcus Model organism (not done)