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UTMB researchers create powerful new method to analyze genetic data
Date:6/12/2012

ndividuals and their genetic profiles simultaneously, and cognitively that's really important," Bhavnani said. "You can look at the individuals and know immediately which SNPs make them different from others, and conversely you can look at the SNPs to see how they are co-occurring, and with which individuals they are co-occurring. This rich representation enables you to quickly comprehend the complex bipartite relationships in the data"

The bipartite network visualization of the Utah-Nigeria individual-SNP data has distinct clusters on its left and right sides that correspond to the Utah and Nigerian subjects and SNPs. It also accurately portrays a genetic phenomenon called admixture, in which an individual possesses SNPs that are characteristic of individuals from Utah as well as from Nigeria. Admixed individuals are placed on the edges of their clusters, relatively close to the center of the visualization. The identification of admixed individuals, and the implicated SNPs could help in the design of case-control studies where there is a need for the selection of homogenous sets of individual from different ancestral origins.

To produce an even more detailed picture of the individual-SNP information, the researchers applied two other bipartite visualization techniques to the data: the bipartite heat map, and the bipartite Circos ideogram. In the heat map, rectangular cells laid out in a spreadsheet-like arrangement and colored white, gray, or black helped precisely define the boundaries of the clusters by clarifying individual-SNP relationships. In the Circos ideogram, individuals and SNPs placed around the perimeter of a circle and linked with curved lines, enabling the researchers to more closely examine the admixed individuals' ties to SNPs in the clusters associated with both Utah and Nigeria.

"The network representation is very powerful because it gives you the overall structure of the data, but to really understand the complex re
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Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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