November 30 - December 2, 2015
Edgar de Picciotto Family National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev Building (Bldg. 41), BGU Marcus Family Campus
New sequencing techniques and rapid growing computational biology have led to a strong increase in genomic research. The genome, meanwhile, is recognized to be a complex system with structure and functions that are the result of a complex evolutionary history. The hypothesis that the genome and genes are the major causes of heredity and development - a topic of our previous workshops – is experimentally well-supported; genomic regulatory sequences and their logic processing shown to be crucial for development. Assessments concerning the functional meaning of large parts of eukaryotic genomes differ widely. Former assumptions about the importance of genomic structure such as gene order, gene complexes, and genome size have been largely abandoned. But new structural elements are perceived as meaningful, such as chromatin looping with the help of intergenic DNA. Research on the synthesis of artificial genomes and their comparison to natural genomes, apart from its practical importance, helps in the understanding of structure and function of prokaryotic genomes and their differences from eukaryotic ones.
With participants coming from a variety of specialties such as history of biology, philosophy, molecular biology, developmental genetics, immunology, and evolutionary biology, the workshop aims at generating an intellectual discussion about the history and achievements of modern genomic studies and at contributing to a systems theory of the genome as a primary cause of heredity and development.
This theory will include genes (however defined) as crucial elements as well as the role of chromatin.
Among the topics to be discussed are:
The meaning of causality in biology and genetics
The distinction between the functionally meaningful and functionally unimportant features of the genome
The structure and function of regulatory sequences in the genome
The importance of genomic sequences for the determination of the specificity of epigenetic marks
The genome as a result and cause of evolution
Non-coding sequences such as inserted repetitive sequences or SNPs as tools for tracing patterns of evolutionary relatedness
The genome, chromatin, and the individuality of immune cells
The meaning of synthetic genomes for the understanding of genome function
The difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes and the problem of the universality of a systems theory of the genome
Ethical problems of modern genomic research
Full Program | Poster | Abstracts