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Visually Exploring the Genome at Scale

Ab6e0a2ba101a2eb0a975b1ef915e85a?s=47 Fritz Lekschas
October 21, 2018

Visually Exploring the Genome at Scale

The human genome is about 2 meters long and tightly folded into the cell nucleus, a sphere that is 4 million times smaller than a pinhead. How do cells avoid entangling the DNA and ensure accessibility of necessary parts? Biologists study DNA folding through the detection of pairwise physical interactions along the DNA, which results in a 3-by-3 million pixel matrix. Visualized as a heatmap, thousands of local visual patterns become apparent. Studying these patterns is like trying to understand the average layout of parks while viewing countries on a world map. Biologists need to inspect these patterns for sensemaking of biological features. We have developed 3 interactive tools to explore such large datasets at different steps: (1) seamless browsing using HiGlass, (2) local pattern exploration through decomposition in HiPiler, and (3) guided navigation with Scalable Insets. I will present our tools and discuss the generalizability of the underlying concepts. More at http://infoplus.lekschas.de/


Fritz Lekschas

October 21, 2018


  1. Visually Exploring the Genome At Scale Fritz Lekschas, PhD Candidate

    Harvard University Benjamin Bach, Peter Kerpedjiev, Michael Behrisch, Nils Gehlenborg, and Hanspeter Pfister Oct 21st, 2018 INFO+ 2018
  2. Apple EarPods headphones

  3. 1.5x Pin Head

  4. 3D GENOME

  5. DNA Cell Nucleus 3D GENOME

  6. DNA Cell Nucleus Contact 3D GENOME

  7. DNA Cell Nucleus Contact Sequencing 3D GENOME

  8. DNA Cell Nucleus Contact Sequencing Matrix 3D GENOME

  9. HiGlass Kerpedjiev, Abdennur, Lekschas, et al. Genome Biology, 2018, 19:125.

  10. HiGlass Kerpedjiev, Abdennur, Lekschas, et al. Genome Biology, 2018, 19:125.

  11. HiPiler

  12. None
  13. CONCLUSION Integrate Aggregate Separate

  14. CONCLUSION Integrate Aggregate Separate Visual Scale Information Scale

  15. Thank You! MORE INFORMATION infoplus.lekschas.de CONTACT lekschas@seas.harvard.edu @flekschas lekschas.de