An Overview: Remote Triggered Virtual Proteomics Laboratory
Proteomics is the comprehensive study of the complete magnitude of proteins encoded by a genome for their expression, localization, interaction and post-translational modifications. Proteome level analysis is highly complex and challenging due to the diversity of protein content across the living organisms and dynamic changes in protein expression levels with time, and in response to the external stimulus or environmental circumstances. Proteins have a closer correlation with biological functions and disorders as compared to genes; and provide better insight about the pathobiological status under diseased states, since they are the ultimate effector molecules in living systems. Over the last two decades, massive advancements in high-throughput proteomic technologies lead to an exceptional uprising in proteomics research and as a consequence this emerging platform has propelled its growth in manifold disciplines of life sciences. Eventually, the potential “bed-side” applications of clinical proteomics for early detection, rational therapeutic targeting, and patient-tailored therapy are being investigated with substantial importance.
Now-a-days, considering the rising impact of proteomics on clinical and industrial research, academic and research institutions are integrating proteomics as an important parts of their course curriculum. Although proteomics has been included as a prominent part of biotechnology course work in multiple institutes, establishment of several high-throughput technological facilities in academic settings remains challenging owing to the shrinking educational budgets, mainly in the developing countries. To this end, various e-learning and open-learning programs particularly static and remotely triggered virtual labs have started incorporating theoretical or practical aspects of different proteomic techniques as a component of their course materials. Addition of virtual labs as an element of regular course curriculum will definitely be useful for the developing countries like India, where the number of qualified students is much higher than the number of well-equipped universities having the required infrastructures for advanced practical instruction.
Fig 1: Remote Triggered Lab Architecture
Static virtual labs cannot provide the learners first hand experiences of performing any experiment; while, remote triggered virtual labs can enhance those opportunities by adding the component of hands-on-experience in a real-time manner. In remote-triggered virtual proteomics learners will be allowed the monitor sophisticated equipments associated with proteomics directly from remote places through dedicated software and operating systems. After getting immense success in development of a static Virtual Proteomics Lab as a part of Sakshat Virtual Labs program, we have taken an initiative for developing a Remote Triggered Virtual Lab dedicated to proteomic technologies to create highly realistic virtual environments that can give the learners a first hands experience of performing different proteomic technologies.The overall course material is organized in eight different experiments; including global and differential proteomic analysis and their applications in elucidation of mechanism of drug action, identification of autoantibody response in diseased samples, studying protein interactions, and post translational modifications. To access this e-Learning facility, remote users have to register into the real-time remote lab system hosted on the IIT-Bombay, Proteomics Lab server, with unique user name and password. After successful registration, users will be allowed to login into the system. Users have to reserve slots for the specific experiments as per their requirements.