The -omics era: the case of mathematics and biology
Advances in high-throughput technologies in omics-related fields have changed the approach to the understanding of biological phenomena.The vast amounts of data made available by the -omics revolution is generating torrents of data, often referred to as big data. Dealing with big data in turn calls for generation of techniques, technologies, models, storage infrastructures and collaborative platforms to capture the often unexpected features of complex biological systems.
Analyses of large scale -omics datasets requires the integration of these data under mathematical and relational models that can describe mechanistically the relationships between their components.
Bringing Maths to Life (BMTL) 2017 will bring together leading scientists in mathematics, biology and computational biology working in different fields to create a scientific platform for data sharing, to learn about big data and -omics novel developments, and to confront ideas and realities through case studies and practical experiences.
The workshop, as a mélange of different fields, will consist of selected contributions for open discussion to present and confront the most updated results at the interface of mathematics and biology in three main sessions:
1) Data: acquisition, pre-processing and storage of different -omics datasets. The goal of this session is to discuss effective ways of acquiring, processing, and storing data as a starting point for any kind of analysis. Two large-scale projects will be presented within this session. The first project, SardiNIA, recruited over 1.5 million Sardinians across the island to gather enough cases and controls to investigate genetic factors for a wide range of conditions and diseases (see: https://sardinia.nia.nih.gov/). The second, MetaSUB (Metagenomics & Metadesign of Subways & Urban Biomes), includes scientists tracking the microbes in city subways and describe their diffusion on an interactive map (see: http://metasub.org/).
2) Information: data analysis, novel -omics technologies, the application of deep learning to different -omics datasets. The integration of experimental data prior to their analysis requires full understanding of the algorithms that need to be used in order to ensure a correct application in answering biological questions. Case studies of this session are two examples of metagenomics analyses. The first is the analysis of data collected during the Tara Oceans expedition including samples from 210 stations across the world oceans (see: http://taraexpeditions-it.blogspot.it/)). The project is deciphering how the most complex organisms evolved from primordial bacteria and in future it will tell us about the fate of the myriad organisms present today. The second concern the analysis of human gut microbiome.
3) Knowledge: integration of different -omics data, system biology of -omics data. Methods for the integrative analysis of multi-omics data are required to draw a more complete and accurate picture of the dynamics of molecular systems. Unveiling the interactions between diverse types of data allows to fully exploit their information. The keynote lectures of this session will show the integration of genomic, biochemical, and metabolic data under comprehensive mathematical models.
The 2017 Bringing Maths to Life will be held from 7 to 9 June 2017 in Naples, Italy, in the magnificent Capitolo Hall of St. Domenico Maggiore Convent, one of the most important space created during the renovation started by the prior Ruffo (XVII century). The vaults and the walls were decorated in stucco by Cosimo Fanzago and by the paintings of the Sicilian painter Michele Ragoglia.
Graphic design by Roberta Zazzu – www.zazzu.it