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Analysing Spatial Point Patterns in Nuclear Biology using Aggregate Maps

  • Speaker: Dr David Weston, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Date: Wednesday, 23 January 2013 from 16:30 to 17:30
  • Location: Room 160, Birkbeck Main Building

There have been many investigations into identifying possible relationships between the location of bodies within a cell nucleus and their function. Interesting relationships are identified by comparing how different the locations of the bodies are to what is expected if the locations were chosen at random. However, the number of bodies involved is often very low and this has consequences on the effectiveness of quantitative analysis procedures. It becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between bodies whose locations have been chosen at random and bodies whose locations have a biologically interesting preference, with decreasing number of bodies involved. Therefore a commonly used approach, which is to analyse cells individually, has the potential to overlook interesting structures. An alternative approach is to aggregate the locations of bodies from multiple cells using simple normalization, but this requires care to choose the appropriate normalization. It is to address this issue that `Aggregate aps' has been proposed. An aggregate map for a collection of cells is constructed simply by fusing the images of individual cells using standard methods for image registration. This talk will be split into two parts. In the first part I will describe how to construct an aggregate map. The second part of the talk will be devoted to the important issue of how to interpret the result.