Predictive models for gene regulation

August 20, 2018, Vanderbilt University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In the field of systems biology, "big data" refers to the massive amounts of information that can be collected, stored and analyzed computationally and which can reveal previously unseen patterns or associations important to understanding, treating or preventing disease.

Modern statistical tools, however, are not very accurate when it comes to predicting the discrete and non-symmetric behaviors of individual cells. It's not 's fault, assert Gregor Neuert, PhD, and colleagues from Vanderbilt University and Colorado State University. The wrong tools are being used.

In a study of the stress response in yeast published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they show how single-molecule measurements and advanced computational analysis yield far more precise, reproducible and predictive models of the complex mechanisms that profiles over time and space.

These approaches should aid efforts to predict how, for example, mutations and environmental perturbations affect cellular function and behavior, and how diseases respond to drug combinations.

Explore further: Simple computer models unravel genetic stress reactions in cells

More information: Brian Munsky et al. Distribution shapes govern the discovery of predictive models for gene regulation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1804060115

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists study puncture performance of cactus spines

November 20, 2018

Beware the jumping cholla, Cylindropuntia fulgida. This shrubby, branching cactus will—if provoked by touching—anchor its splayed spines in the flesh of the offender. The barbed spines grip so tightly that a segment of ...

Traffic noise stresses out frogs, but some have adapted

November 20, 2018

Frogs from noisy ponds near highways have altered stress and immune profiles compared to frogs from more quiet ponds—changes that reduce the negative effects of traffic noise on the amphibians. According to a new study, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.