How we use gene expression to understand disease
This issue of our Science Untangled will focus on how we can use molecular biology to understand more about disease. In iPLACENTA we are interested in the causes of pregnancy pathologies; the juice of the matter is really to understand what's different between a healthy placenta and an unhealthy placenta that will cause the mother to develop a disease, putting both mother and baby in danger.
In this blog we will go through what systems biology means and how we use it in research. Starting with the definition of the terms system, model, followed by an example of network analysis as a systems biology method and the nuanced difference between complex vs complicated. Please ask questions in the comments section if there is anything that you would like explained in more depth!
Systems can be considered on different levels. From organ networks to molecular networks, the individual, or even social networks. The image above was adapted from lectures provided by the Systems Biology and Bioinformatics Department Rostock, Germany and a graph from the Institute of Systems Biology Seattle, USA.
From attending lectures on extracellular vesicle (EV) research in dust to consuming smoked fish for breakfast; attending my first congress across the world in Japan was a surprising but amazing experience.
When I received an email with the confirmation of my abstract being accepted for a poster presentation for a congress I wanted to attend since I started working within the field of EV research, I was over the moon. I couldn’t believe I was going to attend a conference in Japan until the moment I stepped out of the plane. It was surreal. So, tons of coffee later to deal with the 9-hour time difference and the worst travel companion (my poster which was at my side the whole 24-hour travel time), let me tell you about me surviving my first congress.
About the blog
Being a PhD student in a European training network is a life-changing adventure. Moving to a new country, carrying out a research project, facing scientific (and cultural) challenges, travelling around Europe and beyond… Those 3 years certainly do bring their part of new - sometimes frightening - but always enriching experiences.