Data management and data analysis in the large European projects GEHA (GEnetics of Healthy Aging) and NU-AGE (NUtrition and AGEing): a bioinformatic approach

Vianello, Dario (2015) Data management and data analysis in the large European projects GEHA (GEnetics of Healthy Aging) and NU-AGE (NUtrition and AGEing): a bioinformatic approach , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia e patologia sperimentale, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6819.
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The aging process is characterized by the progressive fitness decline experienced at all the levels of physiological organization, from single molecules up to the whole organism. Studies confirmed inflammaging, a chronic low-level inflammation, as a deeply intertwined partner of the aging process, which may provide the “common soil” upon which age-related diseases develop and flourish. Thus, albeit inflammation per se represents a physiological process, it can rapidly become detrimental if it goes out of control causing an excess of local and systemic inflammatory response, a striking risk factor for the elderly population. Developing interventions to counteract the establishment of this state is thus a top priority. Diet, among other factors, represents a good candidate to regulate inflammation. Building on top of this consideration, the EU project NU-AGE is now trying to assess if a Mediterranean diet, fortified for the elderly population needs, may help in modulating inflammaging. To do so, NU-AGE enrolled a total of 1250 subjects, half of which followed a 1-year long diet, and characterized them by mean of the most advanced –omics and non –omics analyses. The aim of this thesis was the development of a solid data management pipeline able to efficiently cope with the results of these assays, which are now flowing inside a centralized database, ready to be used to test the most disparate scientific hypotheses. At the same time, the work hereby described encompasses the data analysis of the GEHA project, which was focused on identifying the genetic determinants of longevity, with a particular focus on developing and applying a method for detecting epistatic interactions in human mtDNA. Eventually, in an effort to propel the adoption of NGS technologies in everyday pipeline, we developed a NGS variant calling pipeline devoted to solve all the sequencing-related issues of the mtDNA.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Vianello, Dario
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Data analysis, data management, omics, epistasis, NGS, aging
Data di discussione
11 Maggio 2015

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