Of Mice and Men and Python a talk by Karla Fejfarová
Friday, 14 June, 14:00 in Ballroom and streamed live to Club
The human genome is sequenced, yet we still don't know what all of the genes do. Which of the genes are related to conditions like asthma, cancer or blindness? What effects do small variations in the genome have on our health?
While we cannot change our DNA to analyze these effects, we can change the genes of mice. At the genetic level, humans and mice are similar and many of disease-related genes are identical. Thanks to genetically manipulated mice, we can study mechanisms of diseases and design effective treatments.
After the genetically manipulated mice have been created, researches must examine all measurable traits, including metabolism, bone development, and behaviour. The measurements then have to be compared with the characteristics of the wild-type mice (mice that have not been genetically altered). This means a lot of data are generated every day. The data can come not only as numbers or categories but also in the form of images.
I will give you a short tour of the Czech Centre for Phenogenomics in the BIOCEV centre in Vestec and a brief overview of current research in mouse-based functional genomics. I'll also present various types of data we generate during the research and I will show you how Python helps us to overcome some of the everyday challenges we face.
I work as a biostatistician at the Czech Centre of Phenogenomics, which literally means helping other scientists with computer-related tasks: anything from tweaking Excel sheets and making plots to doing data analyses and training neural networks. The only thing I haven't been asked to do is fixing a printer paper jam. Together with my friend Petr Šimeček, I maintain the Twitter account @python_tip. You can usually find staring at my computer screen or running in the woods.