Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virginia Tech computer scientists develop new way to study molecular networks

25.01.2013
In biology, molecules can have multi-way interactions within cells, and until recently, computational analysis of these links has been "incomplete," according to T. M. Murali, associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.

His group authored an article on their new approach to address these shortcomings, titled "Reverse Engineering Molecular Hypergraphs," that received the Best Paper Award at the recent 2012 ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Biomedicine.

Intricate networks of connections among molecules control the processes that occur within cells. The "analysis of these interaction networks has relied almost entirely on graphs for modeling the information. Since a link in a graph connects at most two molecules (e.g., genes or proteins), such edges cannot accurately represent interactions among multiple molecules. These interactions occur very often within cells," the computer scientists wrote in their paper.

To overcome the limitations in the use of the graphs, Murali and his students used hypergraphs, a generalization of a graph in which an hyperedge can connect multiple molecules.

"We used hypergraphs to capture the uncertainty that is inherent in reverse engineering gene to gene networks from systems biology datasets," explained Ahsanur Rahman, the lead author on the paper. "We believe hypergraphs are powerful representations for capturing the uncertainty in a network's structure."

They developed reliable algorithms that can discover hyperedges supported by sets of networks. In ongoing research, the scientists seek to use hyperedges to suggest new experiments. By capturing uncertainty in network structure, hyperedges can directly suggest groups of genes for which further experiments may be required in order to precisely discover interaction patterns. Incorporating the data from these experiments might help to refine hyperedges and resolve the interactions among molecules, resulting in fruitful interplay and feedback between computation and experiment.

Murali, and his students Ahsanur Rahman and Christopher L. Poirel, both doctoral candidates, and David L. Badger, a software engineer in Murali's group, all of Blacksburg, Va., and all in the computer science department, used funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to better understand this uncertainty in these various forms of interactions.

Murali is also the co-director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science's Center for Systems Biology of Engineered Tissues and the associate program director for the computational tissue engineering interdisciplinary graduate education program at Virginia Tech.

Lynn Nystrom | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New method opens crystal clear views of biomolecules
11.02.2016 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

nachricht Scientists from MIPT gain insights into 'forbidden' chemistry
11.02.2016 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New method opens crystal clear views of biomolecules

11.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots

11.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA sees development of Tropical Storm 11P in Southwestern Pacific

11.02.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>