Augmenting genomics through metabolomics

The field of genomics has opened up new perspectives to determine the origins of various phenotypes, such as diseases and physiological traits. Statistical studies that measure correlations between genetic and phenotypic variations within large populations have provided important results, but, so far, have explained only a small fraction of heritability. To address this issue, Rico Rueedi, Prof. Zoltán Kutalik, and Prof. Sven Bergmann of the University of Lausanne investigate, in the context of the CoLaus study, a new approach integrating metabolomics into genomics.

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„Microbial Pompeji“ in dental calculus

Researchers of the University of Zurich have discovered a „microbial Pompeii“ preserved on the teeth of skeletons around 1,000 years old. They found a high concentration of genetic material, as well as numerous opportunistic pathogens and could establish that periodontal disease is caused by the same bacteria today as in the past.

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Automated quantitative histology reveals vascular morphodynamics during Arabidopsis hypocotyl secondary growth

Prof. Christian Hardtke, Director of the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Lausanne, with the help of SIB’s High Performance Computing Group led by Ioannis Xenarios, established an “Automated Quantitative Histology” approach to analyze high-resolution images of hypocotyl cross-sections in an automated manner.

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Biology’s “dark matter”

Thanks to bioinformatics, researchers from the University of Lausanne have shed light upon a poorly understood category of genes, which produce long non-coding RNA molecules rather than proteins. A few of these genes appeared over 350 million years ago in the common ancestor of 11 species – amongst which humans, the great apes, opossums and frogs. The article was published in Nature, on 19 January 2014.

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