Big Data Can do Big Things in Nature Biotechnology
ETH Zürich, together with scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a software to make it easy to measure molecular properties and observe cells.
Many questions arising in modern cell biology can find answers only by specifically observing the fate of individual cells, which can take several days. Continuous images taken to observe individual cells, consumes enormous data quantities, as in some cases millions of images are needed. This is where big data can be put to good use.
“We put together two separate packages: a manual tracking tool and a semi-automatic quantification tool for individual cell analyses in time-lapse microscopy movies. The two together allow measurements of properties such as the length of the cell cycle, the expression dynamics of certain proteins, and correlations of these properties between sister cells,” said Prof. Dr. Timm Schroeder from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at the ETH Zürich, which is headquartered in Basel.
Presently, this software is made available free to download, to be of help all the researchers around the world.