Biological and (Bio)Medical Complexity

English

Human Mobility Network and Persistence of Multi-strain Diseases

Rapidly mutating pathogens may be able to persist in the population and reach an endemic equilibrium by escaping acquired immunity of hosts. For such diseases, multiple biological, environmental and population level mechanisms determine epidemic dynamics. In previous studies we focused on the impact of the population distribution and mobility network [1]. In this work we go one step further and study this impact with multiple competing strains.

Multi-Ecosystem Arbovirus Transmission Networks: The Spatial Spread of Mosquitoes’ Blood-meal Sources and Vector-Borne Diseases

The arbovirus transmission in natural systems is mainly dependent on host-vector interactions. However, issues such as spatial connectivity and fragmentation can change their traffic patterns in ecosystems.
Due to the research on the traffic of arbovirus in multiple ecosystems is in its preliminary stages, our study has focused on the analysis of interactions of arbovirus identified by molecular techniques from mosquito blood meal in coastal systems (Pinto et al., 2018). In this context, we provide

Multiscale Nature of Collinearity in Embryonic HOX Gene Cluster Activation

A fundamental property in embryonic development is the collinearity of Hox gene cluster activation as first observed by E.B. Lewis (Lewis, 1978). This collinearity consists of the sequential ordering of the Hox genes along the telomeric to centromeric direction on the DNA fiber and the sequential activation of these genes in the same order in the ontogenetic units along the anterior to posterior axis of an embryo. The size of a Hox gene cluster on the DNA fiber and a vertebrate embryonic size differ by more than 4 orders of magnitudes.

Brain networks in schizophrenic and healthy individuals

Network science provides tools to explore the overall organization of the human functional brain as a consequence of wiring dynamics, offering new insights on the effect of abnormal functioning on the whole brain network architecture [1]. In this perspective, Schizophrenia represents an interesting case study: a severe psychiatric condition hypothesized to result from abnormal anatomical neural connectivity and a consequent decoupling of the brain’s integrative thought processes [2].

The improvisational state of mind: a multidisciplinary study of an improvisatory approach to classical music repertoire performance

The ability to improvise is important for creative activities and also for navigating through everyday life, being related to well-being and mental health. Our work studies the effect of improvisation in classical music performance, contrasting “strict” performances that closely follow the musical score prioritising accuracy, and “let-go” performances that occasionally diverge in collective improvisational gestures.

Simulation of Biochemical Systems Using Constraint-Based Methods and Extended Biochemical Networks

Computational Systems Biology has naturally emerged as a branch of computational models applied to biological systems due to large-scale biological data production in the past decades. Although several models have been developed in order to simulate cellular subsystems, only a few tackle the problem of integrating several cellular processes. In previous works, an extended biochemical network modeling framework was proposed aiming at integration of cellular subsystems into a single biochemical network [1].

Ecosystem Vulnerability to Species Loss: a Broad Study of Real-World Food Webs

The world is facing widespread species extinctions. Seeking to understand their indirect effects on ecosystems, we analyse over 200 weighted food webs from around the whole Earth. Combining a large survey of empirical networks with an assessment of multiple measures of their vulnerability, we bring the first such data-based evidence into the ecological complexity-stability debate.

Hierarchical Modularity in breast cancer networks is driven by miRNA regulation

Breast Cancer is the malignant neoplasm with the highest incidence and mortality among women worldwide. It is a heterogeneous and complex disease, its classification in different molecular subtypes is a clear manifestation of this. The recent abundance of genomic data on cancer, make possible to propose theoretical approaches to model the process of genetic regulation. One of these approaches is the use of Transcriptional Networks, which represent the regulation and co-expression of genes as well-defined mathematical objects.

Homogenization of functional topology in bipolar patients under Lithium treatment

Bipolar disorder (BD) is characterized by a combination of state changes that oscillate between mania and depression, combined through periods of remission, and has a clear impact on patients’ psychological and cognitive functions. Lithium treatment has been successfully tested on bipolar patients, obtaining a subjective improvement of psychological equilibrium [1]. The mechanistic explanation of why lithium is effective in mitigating bipolar symptomatology is however still unclear.

Pattern-oriented Model for Exploring Systemic Toxicity and Biomaker Network Dynamics

Epidemiologic results have shown mixed and inconsistent results for human health effects, for instance in consideration of PFOA exposure. Some studies have found lipid metabolism and thyroid hormone effects; however, conclusive evidence has been elusive due to low environmental and occupational exposures to PFOA.

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