🍩 Database of Original & Non-Theoretical Uses of Topology

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  1. Persistent Homology Analysis of Brain Transcriptome Data in Autism (2019)

    Daniel Shnier, Mircea A. Voineagu, Irina Voineagu
    Abstract Persistent homology methods have found applications in the analysis of multiple types of biological data, particularly imaging data or data with a spatial and/or temporal component. However, few studies have assessed the use of persistent homology for the analysis of gene expression data. Here we apply persistent homology methods to investigate the global properties of gene expression in post-mortem brain tissue (cerebral cortex) of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and matched controls. We observe a significant difference in the geometry of inter-sample relationships between autism and healthy controls as measured by the sum of the death times of zero-dimensional components and the Euler characteristic. This observation is replicated across two distinct datasets, and we interpret it as evidence for an increased heterogeneity of gene expression in autism. We also assessed the topology of gene-level point clouds and did not observe significant differences between ASD and control transcriptomes, suggesting that the overall transcriptome organization is similar in ASD and healthy cerebral cortex. Overall, our study provides a novel framework for persistent homology analyses of gene expression data for genetically complex disorders.