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