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Bioinformatics and Biology Insights

Reverse enGENEering of Regulatory Networks from Big Data: A Roadmap for Biologists

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Bioinformatics and Biology Insights 2015:9 61-74

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Published on 29 Apr 2015

DOI: 10.4137/BBI.S12467


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Abstract

Omics technologies enable unbiased investigation of biological systems through massively parallel sequence acquisition or molecular measurements, bringing the life sciences into the era of Big Data. A central challenge posed by such omics datasets is how to transform these data into biological knowledge, for example, how to use these data to answer questions such as: Which functional pathways are involved in cell differentiation? Which genes should we target to stop cancer? Network analysis is a powerful and general approach to solve this problem consisting of two fundamental stages, network reconstruction, and network interrogation. Here we provide an overview of network analysis including a step-by-step guide on how to perform and use this approach to investigate a biological question. In this guide, we also include the software packages that we and others employ for each of the steps of a network analysis workflow.



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