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NIH, Partners Unveil Software Tool for Molecular Bond Identification

big dataA National Institutes of Health research team has teamed up with the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope and Freiburg University to build a new software tool to help drug developers identify aptamers or molecules that bind to biological targets of interest.

NIH said Friday the AptaTRACE tool was designed to analyze data collected using the High-Throughput Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment technique that identifies aptamers, in order to distinguish common features in the genetic sequences that bind.

Teresa Przytycka, a senior investigator at the NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information, led the NIH research team that developed AptaTRACE in an effort to further understand why some molecules bind and others do not.

“This research is an excellent example of how the benefits of ‘big data’ critically depend upon the existence of algorithms that are capable of transforming such data into information,” said Przytycka.

John Burnett leads the team from Beckman Research Institute while Rolf Backofen leads the Freiburg University team.

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