Predicting Causal Relationships from Biological Data: Applying Automated Casual Discovery on Mass Cytometry Data of Human Immune Cells
Our next meeting will be at 3:00 on June 09th, in room 4160 of the Discovery building. Our Selected paper is Predicting Causal Relationships from Biological Data: Applying Automated Casual Discovery on Mass Cytometry Data of Human Immune Cells.
The abstract is as follows.
Learning the causal relationships that define a molecular system allows us to predict how the system will respond to different interventions. Distinguishing causality from mere association typically requires randomized experiments. Methods for automated causal discovery from limited experiments exist, but have so far rarely been tested in systems biology applications. In this work, we apply state-of-the art causal discovery methods on a large collection of public mass cytometry data sets, measuring intra-cellular signaling proteins of the human immune system and their response to several perturbations. We show how different experimental conditions can be used to facilitate causal discovery, and apply two fundamental methods that produce context-specific causal predictions. Causal predictions were reproducible across independent data sets from two different studies, but often disagree with the KEGG pathway databases. Within this context, we discuss the caveats we need to overcome for automated causal discovery to become a part of the routine data analysis in systems biology.
We welcome all who can join us for this discussion. Feel free to begin that discussion in the comments section below.