A biological pathway is mainly composed of metabolic pathway, transcription regulatory pathway and signal transduction pathway. With the development of systems biology, many computational algorithms and systems that used to handle and predict biological pathway have been developed by many researchers and organizations in related fields on bioinformatics. By the assistance of these tools and systems, biologists may save tremendous time and money from the traditional wet biological experiments, especially in pathway modeling and drug finding. However, the computational patents on biological pathway mainly focus on mining, storing, modeling and visualizing the biological information, such as DNA sequences, the protein information, compounds and the interactions between them. Furthermore, literature information which is related to biological pathways is also integrated in many patents for the knowledge of pathways. This review summarizes the recent patents on biological pathway and catalogs them into three subdirectories based on their topics. The first is on the pathway prediction and identification patents for predicting the pathways in unknown organisms or identify the elements in pathways. The second includes some patents in modeling the pathways and simulating them to analyze the biological actions. The last one includes other patents constructing pathway databases or providing methods for pathway visualization.
Keywords: Biological pathway, pathway prediction, pathway modeling and simulation, pathway database, pathway visualization, patents
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