Special Events

  • DOE/GTL Workshop
    Presentation by members of some of the primary institutions involved in the project:

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Adam Arkin
    Sandia National Laboratories: Grant Heffelfinger
    Michael Knotek
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst: Maddalena Coppi
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Ed Uberbacher

    See Genomes to Life Workshop Speakers for bios, abstracts, and presentation slides

  • Bioethics Panel Discussion
    Dangerous Knowledge: Science, secrecy and security in the life sciences

DOE Workshop: Genomes to Life (GTL) Progam

Building on the successes of the Human Genome Project, DOE has initiated an ambitious program to achieve the most far-reaching of all biological goals: a fundamental, comprehensive, and systematic understanding of life.

DOE's Genomes to Life program will make important contributions in the quest to venture beyond characterizing such individual life components as genes and other DNA sequences toward a more comprehensive, integrated view of biology at a whole-systems level. The DOE offices of Biological and Environmental Research and Advanced Scientific Computing Research have formed a strategic alliance to meet this grand challenge.

Beyond the DNA Sequences

The plan for the 10-year program is to use DNA sequences from microbes and higher organisms, including humans, as starting points for systematically tackling questions about the essential processes of living systems. Advanced technological and computational resources will help to identify and understand the underlying mechanisms that enable organisms to develop, survive, carry out their normal functions, and reproduce under myriad environmental conditions.

This approach ultimately will foster an integrated and predictive understanding of biological systems and offer insights into how both microbial and human cells respond to environmental changes. The applications of this level of knowledge will be extraordinary and will help DOE fulfill its broad missions in energy, environmental remediation, and the protection of human health.

GTL Goals

Specific GTL goals are to

  • identify the protein machines that carry out critical life functions,
  • characterize the gene regulatory networks that control these machines,
  • explore the functional repertoire of complex microbial communities in their natural environments to provide a foundation for understanding and using their remarkably diverse capabilities to address DOE missions, and
  • develop the computational capabilities to integrate and understand these data and begin to model complex biological systems.
Return to Top

Bioethics Panel Discussion

Dangerous Knowledge:
Science, secrecy and security in the life sciences

New attention to the use of infectious disease for terrorism and for warfare has increased attention to both the newly salient costs as well as the benefits of new knowledge about infectious disease. What kinds of information about natural and genetically engineered microbes are too dangerous to publish? Who should decide what to publish? How should scientific manuscripts—and seminar presentations—be evaluated to ensure that scientific quality is maximized while potential misuses are minimized? This year the National Academy of Sciences issued a statement indicating that, yes, some information should not be published; the NAS also set out guidelines for protecting traditional scientific norms of openness and publication. (see http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0630491100v1.pdf)

Our panel discussion will address these issues of science, secrecy and security in a newly anxious age.

Return to Top

For more details, visit the DOE Genomes
to Life Website.


Genomes to Life: Realizing the Potential of the Genome Revolution

Return to Top
© 2003 IEEE Computer Society Bioinformatics