Blogging the biotechnology revolution

Systems Biology is changing the way biology is done. Is it a fad or is it effective? This blog tracks current happenings and helps you stay on top of the field. You can find a list of relevant papers at systems biology paper watch Have you heard a talk or read a paper in bioinformatics / systems biology you would like to tell other people about? Email: and get the word out!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Were at ICSB this year and heard about a very interesting paper from Tobias Meyer. Using an intricate assay for wound healing in 96 well plates and automated microscopy, Tobias Meyer's lab looked for signaling components which could effect would healing. In this very clever approach they were able to track single cells as they migrated in response to a wound on a glass plate, in response to various stimuli and under different siRNA knockdown targets. By tracking each cell and measuring intricate cellular parameters such as cell motility, directed migration, coordination, attraction, repulsion and pioneer cells (those which move without the neighbors moving) they were able to assign genes to several functional modules in terms of a specific cellular movement parameter. Using all this data they were able to uncover parameters to an equation which closely follows actual cell migration, and genes which can specifically effect certain of these parameters. Its a very interesting approach and certainly a huge step in moving from siRNA screening to building predictive models of cell function directly form this data.