Gene breakdown

More than 20,000 GeneChips of different types have been accessed by the Bioinformatics Group, a partnership between the Departments of Mathematical and Biological Sciences.

As these chips are thought to record the activity of almost all human genes, investigations into the behaviour not just of individual genes but also of gene components can begin.

As an example of a GeneChip, the image here show the cross correlation between 11 measurements of a human gene which regulates the activity of other genes. The 11 measurement points are placed in order along the gene. Yellow indicates highly correlated pairs of measurements while red is low (or even negative) correlation. The picture makes it clear that this gene is not acting as a single whole but instead subregions in the gene can be clearly seen.

The Bioinformatics Group has produced many of these heatmaps, showing a wide range of different behaviours, some expected and some new. Many more examples can be found at:

A heat-map of the correlation between probes for the same gene across 6685 GeneChips
Image illustrating how gene components work together

Wyvern, February, 2008, page 12, University of Essex. W.B.Langdon 19 Feb 2008 (last update 10 May 2011)