Vol.5 No.1 2012

Research paper : Analysis of synthetic approaches described in papers of the journal Synthesiology (N. Kobayashi et al.)−40−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.5 No.1 (2012) analysis technology for drug design target genes through bioinformatics.[10] In the research that started in 2000, the elemental technologies such as gene identification and functional analysis tools were developed as Type 1 Basic Research, the pipeline for gene identification and functional analysis was constructed by combining the elemental technologies as Type 2 Basic Research, and the comprehensive database for cell membrane receptor GPCR was opened to the public as Product Realization Research. These became Full Research and the core technology was synthesized. Then, this core technology became Type 1 Basic Research for the next development, and resulted in the development of the new function program. Moreover, this technology contributed to the next development as Type 1 Basic Research for the application to organisms other than humans. The core technologies were subject to feedbacks from both the bioinformatics researchers and the experimental bioscience researchers. This helped the spread to society, and long-term maturation is taking place through the sequential development into larger Full Research.Similar cyclical development can be seen in the Full Research for the bioluminescent protein by Ohmiya and Nakajima.[11]Ohmiya and Nakajima started from the scientific curiosity for bioluminescence, and discovered the bioluminescent proteins with different colors in fireflies. They decided to use this bioluminescent protein as the breakthrough technology for biofunctional tests. They altered the genetic structure so the protein will glow in the mammalian cells, and developed the technology to simultaneously detect the multiple gene expression in the cell. Since this technology can be used in the mammalian cells, the developed technology led to the product realization as the multigene expression kit to screen the effect of chemical substances on humans at cellular level, through joint research with companies. While this process may seem to be a relatively simple Full Research where the Type 1 Basic Research led directly to product realization, it is actually the fruit of efforts taken at each step including the demonstration of the correctness of the new concept through Type 2 Basic Research, product realization jointly with the companies, and social acceptance of the product. The researchers returned again to Type 1 Basic Research from here to handle multiple colors, and emphasized the importance of widening the concept further. Overall, the scenario is a cyclical development after the breakthrough type synthesis.Although such cyclical development can be seen in other fields, the bio-industries seem to have characteristics unseen in other industries. Professor Gary P. Pisano of the Harvard Business School positions the bio-industry as a business that stands firmly in sciences, and offers the following analysis.[12] First, although bio-industry stands firmly in science, biology, its core discipline, is not as mature compared to physics and chemistry, and it is characterized by the extremely high uncertainty of the foundation technology. For example, it is like making a CPU without knowing the environment in which it will be used. The second characteristic of the bio-industry is the “integral type” nature. Personal computers are “modular types” where the issues can be broken down into modules and the optimization can be done for each module. On the other hand, the issues of automobiles cannot be broken down into modules, and it is an “integral type” that requires simultaneous optimization across the disciplines where the issues reside. The bio-industry is an “integral type.” Combining with the first characteristic, it is like building a car where one does not know whether it will run until it is made. In the bio-industry, since the uncertainty where one does not know whether a product is usable unless it is made is greater than other fields, it is necessary to commercialize even a small product in the market. This means that small Full Research is necessary to grow to large Full Research. The authors call such synthesis method “spiral type” (Fig. 3).Such spiral type and the combination of breakthrough and spiral type syntheses were seen in three papers. In four papers that deal with biosensors, the breakthrough type synthesis through core technology is taken instead of the spiral type. In two researches, mass preparation of antifreeze protein by Nishimiya et al.[13] and practical application of regenerative medicine by Ohgushi,[14] the elemental technologies needed for realization are selected and integrated, and the researches are done by strategic selection scenarios. There is also the breakthrough type synthesis where the chromatography was advanced by a totally novel method of a single system pump using reservoirs, by Iemura and Natsume[15] (Table 1).In human technology of the life science field, the objective of the R&D is to design a product that takes into account the characteristics of the person who uses the product. There, the basic point is to scientifically understand the human Fig. 3 Spiral type synthesis in the life science (biotechnology) fieldGPCR: G protein coupled receptor (drug discovery target protein in the cell membrane)Gene identification and functional analysis toolsKnowledge of GPCR gene characteristicsLarge-scale computing technologyPublication of SEVENS(comprehensive DB for GPCR)Construction of gene identification and functional analysis pipelineProduct Realization ResearchType 2 Basic ResearchType 1 Basic Research


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