Needs Analysis Workshop/Breakout group 2

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Break-out Group 2: Evolution of morphology

Examples for driving research questions:

  • What is the set of genes that are associated with a particular type of morphological change that occurred independently in several clades during evolution?
  • Which genes are responsible for evolutionary change in the shape of a particular body part?
  • What evolutionary phenotype mirrors a particular human disease?

Participants: Toby Kellogg, Austin Mast, Hans Hofmann, Arhat Abzhanov, Todd Vision, Wasila Dahdul, Hilmar Lapp, Peter Midford

TK - would like to avoid producing something that's too general to be useful

HH - provided an example of a workflow of research he conducts

HH - Molecular basis of chage in the brain as it relates to behavior; change meaning development, plasticity in adult, evolutionary change.

--have two populations that differ in escape response

--have knowledge of physiology, hormones, neural circuitry (morphology) ==> relates to M-cell

--questions: does it relate to ecology? if genetic changes occurred between populations, how did evolve?

--collect imaging data, have sparser data on electrophysiology time series

--M-cell --> extract RNA for profiling or CGH --> get candidate genes. Imaging issues

--kinds of data collected: expression imaging, histological sections, videos of behavior

--Interested in integrating across biological levels, literature, existing databases

TK - what is integration? how do you handle this data flow now?

HH - covariance matrix, examine c-turn behavior associated with a particular cluster of individuals, determine which candidate genes correspond

-- some genes don't cluster with his measures, so the database could fill in that information

PM - ontology would be useful for sequences of behavior, but need larger vocabulary

AA - in comparing sequences, what is the phylogenetic cap, because behavior greatly diverges at higher taxonomic levels.

HH - Could ask such questions as: are the same genes being recruited for specific behaviors across different animal groups?

AA - Are behaviors largely genetic? Genetic background x environment

TK - Issue of formal descriptions of behavior, are there standards?

HH - Not very standardized, and some people don't collect information that others might find useful.

AA - in his work, method of taking beak measurements might differ among groups, and need normalization of data; data collected with different methodology is simply not comparable.

TK - What are some community-wide tools that could be useful?

HH - interested in automation of data extraction from behavioral movies; creation of filters of extract complex behaviors, for example, sequence of locomotor action that signifies escape

-- analagous to homeland security tools that detect individuals that move in suspicious ways

TK - would require building a model that describes your situation; have a database-wide matrix for pattern recognition

TK - could use various tolerance levels in data extraction

TK - interest in comparing your data to the database

HH - user can add their own annotations and send them to the data curator

AA need to decide on the measures and layout of the data early on, so that everyone follows the standardized methods of data collection