Probabilistic analysis of the human transcriptome with side information. Doctoral thesis, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Deparment of Information and Computer Science. Leo Lahti, 2010.
Understanding functional organization of genetic information is a major challenge in modern biology. Following the initial publication of the human genome sequence in 2001, advances in high-throughput measurement technologies and efficient sharing of research material through community databases have opened up new views to the study of living organisms and the structure of life.
In the thesis, novel computational strategies have been developed to investigate a key functional layer of genetic information, the human transcriptome, which regulates the function of living cells through protein synthesis. The key contributions of the thesis are general exploratory tools for high-throughput data analysis that have provided new insights to cell-biological networks, cancer mechanisms and other aspects of genome function.
A central challenge in functional genomics is that high-dimensional genomic observations are associated with high levels of complex and largely unknown sources of variation. By combining statistical evidence across multiple measurement sources and the wealth of background information in genomic data repositories it has been possible to solve some the uncertainties associated with individual observations and to identify functional mechanisms that could not be detected based on individual measurement sources. Statistical learning and probabilistic models provide a natural framework for such modeling tasks. Open source implementations of the key methodological contributions have been released to facilitate further adoption of the developed methods by the research community.
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