Graduate molecular biology student Qin Zhou MS’16 is the lead author of the paper.
Other authors include graduate students Vandita Bhat, Alexa Lasley and Nikesh Kunder, and undergraduate José Alberto De La Paz.
He describes this method as providing “a large number of pieces in a giant jigsaw puzzle,” allowing the team to predict adjacent pieces from contextual clues.“If the experiments cannot capture the exact RNA structure that evolution selected for interactions, it informs the model on how to infer those structures,” he said.
Campbell’s experimental methods can help us sample a very large space of functional interactions,” he said.
“Still, this is just a fraction of the complete genetic cartography.
“Not only that, we can also predict pieces that have never been used through evolution, but that can potentially lead to a functional interaction.”Morcos emphasized how technological advances in big-data computing have enabled their project to succeed.“This is novel in that cutting-edge, high-throughput experimental capabilities and next-generation sequencing have allowed us to more quickly explore an abundance of possibilities and parameters,” he said.
“Using clever approximations, we can essentially solve a problem that had been computationally impossible.”Morcos said that the strength of their project comes from what he and Campbell each bring to the table.“Dr.