Call for Papers

Rationale for the Main Focus Sessions

Advent of Wide Area Networks (WAN) allowed the availability of distributed information (Network Information Retrieval tools, NIR) and the development of unprecedented communications between users (Computer Mediated Communication tools, CMC). Initially, CMC was asynchronous and based on electronic mail and newsgroups. From email, mailing lists and newsletter were soon derived, while newsgroups generated, shortly after, electronic fora. Synchronous communication were introduced through the set up of chat services. On this line, current multimedia teleconference systems were then set up. Virtual reality was first introduced by MUD (Multi-users Domain) systems, and especially by MOO (MUD Object-oriented). This line produced current virtual reality environment, like the emerging Second Life system.

Life Sciences researchers largely took profit from CMC tools. The bionet newsgroups hierarchy remains one of the most famous and useful CMC system supporting life science research. Many mailing lists that were born in that context are still used. The development of open source software was largely made possible by the possibility of exchanging, in an effective way, knowledge, practices and skills. Web sites of communities of scientistis were set up and often constituted the base for a real collaborative development and research. Many other examples of such use of CMC tools for life science can be cited.

The most recent developments of collaborative development tools are impressive. Researchers can now collaboratively develop software (open source systems), discuss and compare development strategies (social networks), write documents (google docs), build knowledge bases. So, it may now be the time for presenting technologies, tools and applications for collaborative work and for discussing perspectives of their utilization in support of Bioinformatics.

Rationale for the session on RNA analysis tools

The transcription of almost all genomes generates a great number of coding and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Although RNA is central to the synthesis of proteins, it is not only a messenger of genetic information: many cellular functions depend on ncRNAs, which exert their functions by their sequence and structure. In particular, small silencing RNAs (miRNAs, siRNAs and piRNAs) play a crucial role in many physiological processes and their aberrant expression is a common feature of human diseases including cancer. Models and tools able to increase our understanding of RNAs functions and their involvement in diseases may lead to the design of new RNA-based therapeutics.
The RNA community is also taking advantage of collaborative research tools such as Wikis and other virtual environments. The RNA WikiProject contains now over 600 articles describing families of noncoding RNAs based on the Rfam database, and invite the community to update, edit, and correct those articles. Therefore, the NETTAB 2009 special session will focus on collaborative research project, computational methods and tools for the analysis of RNA structures and functions, with a special emphasis on ncRNAs.