Big data breakthrough: award-winning research helps scientists understand cancer gene expression

June 14, 2017

The Cancer Genome Atlas has generated a whopping 2.5 petabytes (2.5x1012 bytes) of data, giving scientists an extremely powerful tool to understand cancer and develop new treatments. One of the biggest challenges now is to figure out more reliable and efficient ways to analyze the data. Dr. Theodore Perkins and this team recently received the highest award at a major international conference for developing a new mathematical approach to do just this. Their approach involves Bayesian logic, which provides a way to update the probability of a hypothesis as more evidence becomes available. They found that the new approach could create more reliable networks to show how certain microRNA molecules are expressed together in cancer cells. The research was presented at the International Society for Computational Biology’s Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference.

Authors: Parameswaran Ramachandran, Daniel Sánchez-Taltavull, Theodore J. Perkins

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