The potential of new technologies to reveal insights into the fundamental structure and function of biological systems continues to grow rapidly --but the ability to interpret and merge these datasets lags behind the ability to collect it. In an effort to overcome these limitations, Sven Bergmann, Jan Ihmels, and Naama Barkai, of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, developed a comparative model that integrates gene expression data from microarrays with genomic sequence information to explore genetic networks.
Analyzing the gene expression profiles of six distantly related organisms--bacteria, yeast, plant, nematode, fruitfly, and human--the researchers found that functionally related genes were co-expressed in each species. The most strongly conserved sets of co-expressed genes were associated with core cellular processes or organelles.
Although the regulatory details of individual gene groups varied, the researchers found common ground in the overall landscape of the expression data. The transcription programs exhibit properties typical of dynamically evolving "real-world" networks that are designed to perform in uncertain environments and maintain connections between elements independent of scale. These properties were originally identified in studies of social networks and the World Wide Web, but they aptly describe the real-world challenges of the cell. Studies of dynamically evolving networks show that nodes (i.e., genes and proteins) added at an early stage (much like highly conserved genes) are more likely to develop many connections, acting as a hub. Following these organizational principles, transcription networks would have a relatively small number of highly connected "hub genes"--though a much higher number than one would expect in a random network.
Dr Naama Barkai | PLoS
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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