tware Helps Us Understand How Viruses Evolve
University of Southampton (ECS) (07/23/09)
Software experts with OMII-UK at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science have helped improve a system the institution’s biologists use to study viral and human proteins. Researchers use the SLiMFinder to predict the short, linear motifs (SLiMs) that are responsible for specific protein interactions, including when viruses use them to manipulate their hosts. “SLiMs consist of about three-to-five specific amino acids in the protein and could be responsible for the signaling pathways between many proteins, because they control the ways in which proteins interact,” says Richard Edwards with the Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Group. The OMII-UK team collaborated with researchers from the School of Biological Sciences to create a workflow for SLiMFinder. The software automates tasks such as data collection from databases and data manipulation, and offers a user-friendly interface. “This superior ease of use, combined with faster execution times, is helping to make SLiMFinder into a tool that could be of great interest throughout biological sciences,” Edwards says.