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NPO Bioinformatics Japan

NPO Bioinformatics Japan is a nonprofit organization under the Law to Promote Specified Nonprofit Activities in Japan. It was established in December 2009 with certification from the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. The aim of this NPO is to disseminate knowledge bases and associated bioinformatics technologies for deciphering the genome and to promote genome-based medical and industrial innovations.

The genome is a blueprint of life, encoded in the DNA sequence consisting or four letters, A, C, G, and T. Thanks to the continuous technology developments since the Human Genome Project in the 1990s, the genome sequences of humans and many other organisms can now be determined rapidly and cost-effectively. However, it is not readily possible to understand biological implications of living systems, such as organism behaviors and diseases, from the genome sequence information alone.

To cope with this problem, Kanehisa Laboratories has developed bioinformatics technologies to translate sequence information into wiring diagram information (molecular interaction/reaction network information) of the living system. This has facilitated biological interpretation and enabled integration, especially with information about diseases, drugs, and environmental compounds. The dictionary for this translation is called KEGG, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes.

In collaboration with Kanehisa Laboratories, NPO Bioinformatics Japan will help to bring the genomic revolution to society. Bioinformatics technologies will be applied to the areas including: realization of personalized medicine based on personal genomes, prevention and therapy of infectious diseases based on pathogen genomes, discovery of useful natural products and drug leads based on plant genomes, and biodegradation of environmental compounds based on microbial genomes.