In the last article I introduced the term “Synthetic Biology”. Biologists and Engineers have join hands and taken the science of life and technology to a new level! A virtual world that can connect with life in reality. The crude meaning of the word “synthetic” means “man-made”. The virtual world is man-made but it applies to a real life situation. Drug designing is one such example. Virtual drug designing have replaced the classical method of drug discovery, which include testing each and every molecule for its properties and then proceed for clinical trial.
Computational Biology has made the job easier for scientists working in the pharmaceuticals. Many of the techniques used in Computer Aided Drug Designing (CADD) are usually cheaper and faster than most of the experimental assaying methods, therefore large databases of compounds are often tested in silico before they – or, better, subsets of them – are submitted to in vitro testing. Nowadays, drug-design projects often start with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of compounds, be they large corporate repositories, catalogues of commercially available screening samples or large virtual libraries. In such a scenario, one of the most valuable tools is so-called virtual screening (VS, also called in silico screening), which is the computational search for molecules with desired biological activities in large computer databases of small molecules that do not even have to physically exist.
One can use their coding skills and very well ace in this field of molecular designing for discovering, rather than inventing new molecules that can be used as drugs. Perl, Java, C are major programming languages used extensively in CADD. Other programs can include Delphi, Dock, Maestro , Jaguar, MacroModel 5.5, Xed/Cosmic, DL_POLY, Acca, Amsol etc.
There are other software as well, both developed and being developed by different R&D departments of pharmaceutical companies. The list is endless. The only question is which programming language you master and how well you can apply it in different programs. Additional to this you should be very good in chemistry. Because at the end, whatever one designs, has to be synthesised and eventually be used as drugs for human welfare. This is one of the applications of synthetic biology that I introduced to you, and there are many more to come!