IIT Madras develops 'MultiCens' to study inter-organ communication network in humans

IIT Madras scientists along with Intel Corporation researcher conducted the computational research.

IIT Madras develops 'MultiCens' to study inter-organ communication network in humans IIT Madras develops 'MultiCens' to study inter-organ communication network in humans (Image Source: Careers360)
Tanuja Joshi | Jul 25, 2023 - 2:51 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) scientists have developed a computational approach named 'MultiCens' that will help in understanding the communication between organs and tissues in the human body.

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The research was conducted at the Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC-DSAI). It will now be easy to understand the inter-organ communication networks (ICNs) in the human body and their role in maintaining overall health and well-being.

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The IIT Madras’s latest research will focus on comprehensive genome-wide screens for genes and biomolecules mediating tissue-tissue signaling. It says that the interactions between cells in different tissues and organs are crucial for the proper functioning and survival of multicellular organisms. The exchange of information allows organisms to adapt to changes in their environment, assess their energy reserves, and regulate various physiological processes.

'MultiCens' (Multilayer/Multi-tissue network Centrality measures), a computational tool will use genomic information from various tissues, and can identify and analyze the interactions between genes responsible for communication across different organs.

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Traditionally, research on ICNs has relied heavily on experiments conducted on model organisms like fruit flies. With the introduction of MultiCens, the IIT Madras scientists have analyzed ICNs more comprehensively and efficiently. This method allows for the identification of key genes involved in inter-organ communication under various healthy or disease conditions.

MultiCens will help predict genes associated with hormones, crucial for numerous bodily functions, and can also unveil changes in gene interactions within different brain regions affected by conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, it will help in understanding cancer metastasis, where cancer cells spread from one organ to another over time.

iit madras, engineering, research, iit, ICN, genes, IIT Madras develops 'MultiCens' to study inter-organ communication network in humans (Image: Official Website)

The research findings have been published in the PLOS Computational Biology journal. The paper was co-authored by Tarun Kumar, Sanga Mitra, B Ravindran and Manikandan Narayanan from IIT Madras, along with Ramanathan Sethuraman, a researcher from Intel Corporation, who collaborated with the IIT Madras team.

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B Ravindran, Mindtree faculty fellow and head, RBC-DSAI, IIT Madras, said, “Much of the research on the Inter-organ Communication Network (ICN) has primarily involved experiments on model organisms like the fruit fly, which may not directly apply to humans and other non-model organisms. Moreover, the experimental techniques used can be time-consuming due to the numerous interactions between biomolecules in different tissues. As a result, our knowledge of the ICN is currently incomplete.”

Ramanathan Sethuraman, healthcare architect and principal engineer at Intel explained, “Understanding the molecular pathway for disease manifestation and to identify the causal targets are of prime importance in any disease management. MultiCens is a step in this research direction.”

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