Hairballs and Other Sloppy Models
Posted January 05, 2010
A major challenge in developmental biology is connecting a phenotypic description with the underlying chemistry. Mutations affect a mature organism in a variety of complex, interacting ways that are difficult to quantify, and classification can be subjective. For the most important molecular actors, mutations may prevent a mature organism from developing at all. Some researchers address these problems by studying the effects of a mutation on very early development. At a September 28, 2005, Academy symposium, the talks focused on systems biology approaches to characterizing complex phenotypes.
Topics discussed included a detailed mathematical model of interacting factors in the developing blastoderm of Drosophila, a network deduced from correlations between the phenotypic signatures of different genes in C. elegans, and how precisely the parameters of a model network can be determined and how they affect model predictions.
Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.
Flybase: A Database of the Drosophila Genome
The primary repository of genetic and molecular data of the insect family Drosophilidae. Maintained by the FlyBase consortium.
The Gene Ontology
The Gene Ontology (GO) database of annotated gene functional data for a variety of model organisms. GO provides a standardized controlled vocabulary organized into a structured ontology for the annotation of gene functions according to biological process, cellular compartment, and molecular function.
Phenobank database of C. elegans RNAi phenotypes from Sönnichsen et al., focusing on the first two rounds of mitotic cell division. From Cenix Bioscience and Max Planck Institute, Dresden.
Comprehensive database of RNA interference data for C. elegans. Includes raw time-lapse and image data, phenotypic annotations, RNAi-to-gene mappings, and tools for mining phenotypic data. Maintained by P. MacMenamin, K. Gunsalus, and F. Piano at NYU.
Stanford MicroArray Database
A database of transcription information for many model organisms.
Model organism database for information about C. elegans and related nematodes. Maintained by the WormBase consortium.
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Systems Biology in the Drosophila Blastoderm: What Can We Learn?
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Predictive Models of Molecular Machines Involved in C. elegans Early Embryogenesis
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John Reinitz, PhD
Stony Brook University
e-mail | web site | publications
John Reinitz is a professor in the department of applied mathematics and statistics and at Stony Brook University (formerly the State University of New York, Stony Brook), where he is also a member of the Center for Developmental Genetics. His lab is investigating and developing models of Drosophila embryogenesis. Prior to coming to Stony Brook, Reinitz was on the faculty at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. He received a PhD from Yale University, and did postdoctoral work at Columbia University and Yale.
Kris Gunsalus, PhD
New York University
e-mail | web site | publications
Kris Gunsalus is a research assistant professor in the biology department at New York University, and is a member of NYU's Center for Comparative Functional Genomics. In her work she develops tools to analyze diverse functional genomics data in order to identify groups of genes that work in specific cellular and developmental processes, particularly in C. elegans. She came to NYU from Cornell University, where she received her PhD in 1997.
Kevin S. Brown, PhD
e-mail | publications
Kevin Brown is a postdoc in Andrew Murray's lab in the department of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University. He received a PhD in physics in 2003 from Cornell University.
is a science writer based in Murray Hill, New Jersey. After getting a PhD in physics from MIT, he spent more than fifteen years doing research in physics and electronics technology at Bell Labs. He writes on physics, technology, and biology.