May 2017

Editor - Ruth Lovering

MSc student project

We are delighted that we have another Master’s student, Vanessa Acquaah, joining us this year. She will be working with Rachael to curate the role of miR-1 in early heart development. If you have any papers on this subject you think she should look at please send them to us.

Gene annotation

Based on the EBI statistics, 8th April 2017, the cardiovascular gene annotation team has associated 41,239 GO annotations with 5,976 gene products, 28,504 of which are to 3,406 human gene products. We are also pleased to announce that as part of our neurological annotation initiative we have been awarded a second Alzheimer’s Research UK grant which will fund a 3 year annotation project, starting in July. We are starting discussions with experts about the gene products and processes to prioritise for annotation. Email us for more information about this project.

Introduction to Bioinformatics worshop – 12-13 June

We have organized another of our popular free two-day workshops, with almost 20 people already signed up to attend using the Eventbrite link. This workshop is funded by the British Heart Foundation and provides an overview of the several biological knowledgebases, as well as an introduction to GO and functional analysis tools. 

Meetings attended

March was a very busy month. Nancy attended the 6th Annual UCL Cardiovascular Symposium held in London and presented a poster entitled: “Telomerase Holoenzyme Complex: The Impact of Focused Gene Ontology Curation”. The poster was received well with several comments complementing the clarity of the presentation especially the molecular interactions network created using Cytoscape. The speakers covered a wide range of cutting edge cardiovascular science with a focus on cross-disciplinary, new horizons and future frontiers of cardiovascular research. Notably, the keynote speaker Professor Hodivalda-Dilke presented her excellent work investigating the effect of moderating blood flow to cancerous tumours and its impact on anti-cancer drug delivery.

Also in March, Rachael attended a Keystone Symposium on RNA-based Approaches in Cardiovascular Disease in Colorado, USA, where she presented a poster on the miRNA biocuration project. It was an interesting program, covering topics including non-coding RNAs in diagnosis and prognosis, their use as therapeutics, and their roles in cardiac regeneration and repair. In addition, Ruth was invited to Stanford to contribute to a Human Phenotype Ontology cardiology hackathon. During this two-day intense meeting a succession of cardiologists filed into the room and enabled us to revise the ontology to better describe: abnormal cardiac diagnostics, valvular physiology, vasculature and lipid metabolism as well as cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias. These phenotype terms will be used to annotate genetic variants, such as those identified by Next Generation Sequencing.

At the beginning of April, Ruth and Rachael attended the latest eCOST meeting on the Gene Regulation Ensemble Effort for the Knowledge Commons held at the University of Malta. The meeting brought together many bioinformatic resources involved in representing gene regulation data to discuss ways of gathering the available knowledge, as well as the curation and visualisation tools, into a centralised resource. Ruth and Rachael were both invited to give presentations that focused on the biocuration of gene regulation by transcription factors and miRNAs using GO. 

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