University of Toronto microbiologists have used pattern recognition software to discover the function of yeast genes essential to cell life - knowledge that could help scientists determine what causes cells to die, as well as what they need to live.
"Given the similarities between the yeast and human genomes, our work should promote advances in genomics research in both yeast and humans," said Professor Timothy Hughes of U of T’s Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology, who led the research team.
A paper published in the July 9 issue of the journal Cell describes how the researchers engineered mutations to 700 of the 1,000 yeast genes that are essential to cell life. They analyzed the mutant strains by making several basic measurements -- cell size, cell shape and gene levels - and by evaluating a cell’s potential to grow in a variety of media. They then took these data and did computerized analysis of entire categories of genes in order to predict the functions of individual genes, applying a standard technique for pattern discovery used in fields ranging from marketing to face recognition.
Timothy Hughes | University of Toronto
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