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An e-Infrastructure to Support Research in Human Embryo Development

Presentation Type: 

Characterising gene expression patterns is a crucial part of understanding the molecular determinants of embryonic development and the role of genes in disease. However, gene expression studies in human embryos need to overcome a number of difficulties. These include the sourcing and maintenance of collections of human material suitable for gene expression studies, bridging the expertise in both biological and informatics areas, and amassing and making accessible data from multiple laboratories and studies.

Embryonic gene expression studies are common place in model organisms such as drosophila (fly), mus musculus (mouse) and danio rerio (zebra fish), where procedures such as in-situ hybridisation allow scientists to detect and localise the presence of RNA transcriptomes that are likely to correspond to gene activity. This type of study is less common in humans, and currently only two laboratories are licensed in the UK to collect and analyse human embryonic tissue: the Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR) at Newcastle University and the MRC Fetal Tissue Bank (FTB) at University College London (UCL). Human embryonic material is extremely scarce world-wide, dissemination of the results to the wider community is therefore vital for the progression of research.

Date and time: 
Tuesday, 9 September, 2008 - 16:00
e-Science All Hands Meeting 2008, Edinburgh, UK