The terrifying dinosaur corn genome
Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures, the studios that produced Jurrasic World, try to inject genome science into the movie. Unfortunately, since we don't quite know how to construct viable genomes of extinct species, much less grow the creatures themselves, we don't know whether the depiction of the science is right. Perhaps theirs is exactly what a genome lab would look like in a dino-building facility.
But, we can get fewer things wrong. In the Creation Lab companion website, a Circos image is used to illustrate a triceratops genome.
Unfortunately, this is an image of the B73 Maize reference genome (B73 RefGen_v1), as published in Nature's The B73 Maize Genome: Complexity, Diversity, and Dynamics.
2009 The B73 maize genome: complexity, diversity, and dynamics Science 326 (5956) 1112-1115
Using News Reports to Track Wildlife Black Markets
THE INTERNATIONAL BLACK market in wildlife—alive or dead—is notoriously difficult to track. Hunters and smugglers don’t report their take for the same reasons that drug dealers don’t report profits to the IRS. But if you could actually track those networks, maybe you could do something about them. That’s what sent Nikkita Patel, a veterinary epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, to an unusual source of data on the illegal wildlife trade: the news.
The image shows the illegal global rhinoceros trade network before (top) and after (bottom) a hypothetical targeted disruption. Created with Circos online table viewer.
Circos on Cancer Discovery Covers
The July 2013 issue cover shows a Circos plot of relative copy number changes in 38 oral squamous cell carcinoma tumors.
The September 2012 issue cover shows a collection of Circos images of somatic mutations in melanoma tumors.
July 2013 2013 Integrative genomic characterization of oral squamous cell carcinoma identifies frequent somatic drivers Cancer discovery 3:770-781.
Sep 2012 2012 BRAF(L597) mutations in melanoma are associated with sensitivity to MEK inhibitors Cancer discovery 2:791-797.
Circos charts the placenta transcriptome
Saben et al. use Circos to visualize the transcriptome and gene expression of placenta from 20 healthy women in their article A comprehensive analysis of the human placenta transcriptome.
2014 A comprehensive analysis of the human placenta transcriptome Placenta 35:125-131.
Circos on cover of UCSF Magazine
The Fall 2013 issue of UCSF Magazine has my Circos illustration of personalized medicine. The human outline motif is incorporated into other design elements in the issue.
The look of the image is inspired after Nature's Encode cover by Carl De Torres.
To learn how to generate the cover and variants, read the Circos Encode Cover Tutorial.
Circos on Cover of Cancer Cell
Yang et al. used network analysis approaches characterize a subtype of ovarian cancer associated with poor overall survival.
E-cadherin is a protein encoded by the CDH1 gene and is responsible for cell-cell adhesion. Yang linked the expression of E-cadherin to specific miRNAs that influenced the regulatory network singled out in this cancer subtype.
2013 Integrated analyses identify a master microRNA regulatory network for the mesenchymal subtype in serous ovarian cancer Cancer cell 23:186-199
Circos reaches 500 literature citations
In October 2013 Circos reached a milestone - 500 citations in peer-reviewed literature.
To celebrate, I've made a commemorative poster that features over 400 Circos images from the literature.
Circos deals with 8 Gb Rye Genome
Because of its large 8 Gb genome, the genomic analysis of rye has lagged behind other cereals.
To address this, Martis et al. eastablished a linear gene order model for 72% of the rye genes based on synteny information from rice, sorghum and B. distachyon.
Although it appears that six major translocations shaped the modern rye genome, highly dissimilar conserved syntenic gene content, gene sequence diversity signatures, and phylogenetic networks were found for individual rye syntenic blocks.
2013 Reticulate Evolution of the Rye Genome Plant Cell
Circos Stages Mesolithic to Neolithic Transition
Bollongino et al. present evidence of a slow transition between Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups to Neolithic farmers.
Previous theories that the foragers disappeared shortly after the arrival of farmers are at odds with palaeogenetic and isotopic data analysis from Neolithic human skeletons from the Blätterhöhle burial site in Germany. Instead of an abrupt transition, the data suggest a more complex pattern of coexistence that persisted for over 2000 years.
2013 2000 years of parallel societies in Stone Age Central Europe Science 342:479-481.
Circos in 54 million pixels
Ruddle et al. demonstrate their commodity hardware 54 million pixel data display in exploring copy number variation data.
et al.. 2013. Leveraging Wall-sized High-Resolution Displays for Comparative Genomics Analyses of Copy Number Variation. In IEEE Symposium on Biological Data Visualization, Atlanta, GA.
Circos Tracks CO2 Emissions
Kanemoto et al. report on the disturbing trend of emissions leakage, in which developing countries are displacing emissions intensive production offshore.
The report confirms previous findings that adjusting for trade, developed countries emissions have increased, not decreased. A connection is made to the kind of emissions displacement that has already occurred for air pollution, where despite aggressive legislation in major emitters total global air pollution emissions have increased.
The conclusion warns us that "if regulatory policies do not account for embodied imports, global emissions are likely to rise even if developed countries emitters enforce strong national emissions targets."
2013 International trade undermines national emission reduction targets: New evidence from air pollution Global Environmental Change
Circos Round — Lotus Sacred
The pleasing roundness of Circos is used by Ming et al. to depict the Sacred Lotus genome in the publication "Genome of the long-living sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.).
The Sacred lotus has religious significance in both Buddhism and Hinduism and has been used as a food and herbal medicine product in Asia for over 7,000 years. Its seeds have exceptional longevity, remaining viable for as long as 1,300 years.
The plant is known for its exceptional water repellency, known as the lotus effect. The latter property is due to the nanoscopic closely packed protuberances of its self-cleaning leaf surface, which have been adapted for the manufacture of a self-cleaning industrial paint, Lotusan.
2013 Genome of the long-living sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) Genome Biol 14:R41.
6.9e11 g of oil and Circos was there
Rivers et a. describe the effects of the Deepwater Horizon blowout on the microbial blooms of petroleum-degrading bacteria.
By sequencing 66 million community transcripts, the identity of metabolically active microbes and their roles in petroleum consumption was revealed.
2013 Transcriptional response of bathypelagic marine bacterioplankton to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill The ISME journal
Plants Love Circos
Circos frequently appears in plant literature, twice on the cover of Plant Biotechnology Journal in the last year.
2013 Large-scale resource development in Gossypium hirsutum L. by 454 sequencing of genic-enriched libraries from six diverse genotypes Plant biotechnology journal
2013 High-throughput genomics in sorghum: from whole-genome resequencing to a SNP screening array Plant biotechnology journal
Circos has appeared 8 times each in the Plant Journal and Plant Cell.
Circos Interchange Diagrams — Networks and Flow
Zeng et al. introduce a new type of visualization based on Circos, the interchange diagram, in their paper Visualizing Interchange Patterns in Massive Movement Data.
The design is applied to displaying movement data, such as daily trips made by passengers in a city. By incorporating interactivity, this visualization method is helpful to understand interchange patterns at different spatial (between trains, between cities) and time scales (different times of day).
Circos has been used for urban planning before. The town of Caceres in Spain has used Circos to communicate their urban planning strategy.
2013 Visualizing Interchange Patterns in Massive Movement Data Computer Graphics Forum 32:271-280
Circos connects to the connectome
Methods to visualize the connectome are reviewed in Craddock et al — Circos is one of them.
2013 Imaging human connectomes at the macroscale Nat Meth 10:524-539.
The use of Circos for showing the connectome was introduced by Irimia et al. in Circular representation of human cortical networks for subject and population-level connectomic visualization.
A good layman description of the work can be found at the neurosceptic blog.
2012 Circular representation of human cortical networks for subject and population-level connectomic visualization NeuroImage, 2012 Patient-tailored connectomics visualization for the assessment of white matter atrophy in traumatic brain injury Frontiers in Neurology 3
Circos is the Method for Visualizing Translocations
Genomic rearrangements can cause disease and are implicated in many cancers. Being able to see the patterns in these changes across samples and patients is important.
In the review article End-joining, Translocations and Cancer, Bunting and Nussenzweig demonstrate how compositing the genome circularly adds value and clarity to the presentation.
2013 End-joining, translocations and cancer Nat Rev Cancer
Circos Paints Chromosomes of Capsella Rubella
Slotte et al. use Circos to show the genomic structures, chromosome painting and comparative genomic mapping in C. rubella, A. lyrata and A. thaliana.
Their figure illustrates how Circos is effective at showing two-way comparisons of syntenic structure. For three-way comparison, consider hive plots.
2013 The Capsella rubella genome and the genomic consequences of rapid mating system evolution Nat Genet
Circos on the Cover Of Journal of Pathology
The June 2013 issue of the Journal of Pathology features a pair of Circos plots on the cover. The images are from the paper by Weier et al. describing TMPRSS2 and ERG rearrangements in prostate cancer.
"TMPRSS2–ERG rearrangements occur in approximately 50% of prostate cancers and therefore represent one of the most frequently observed structural rearrangements in all cancers."
2013 Nucleotide resolution analysis of TMPRSS2 and ERG rearrangements in prostate cancer J Pathol 230:174-183.
Circos on the Cover Of Nature's Asian Journal of Andrology
The May 2013 Special Issue of Asian Journal of Andrology presents the outcomes from the Sixth Annual Forum on Prostate Disease (6th FPD), which was held on June 8-9, 2012 in Shanghai, China [source: nature.com]. The cover art for the issue shows a Circos plot of 90 significantly recurrent molecular alterations in prostate cancer from an analysis of 372 prostate tumors discussed in the Wyatt et al. review article.
The review summarizes the current state of understanding of prostate cancer, "including the sentinel role of copy number variation, the growing spectrum of oncogenic fusion genes, the potential influence of chromothripsis, and breakthroughs in defining mutation-associated subtypes. Increasing evidence suggests that genomic lesions frequently converge on specific cellular functions and signalling pathways, yet recurrent gene aberration appears rare".
2013 The diverse heterogeneity of molecular alterations in prostate cancer identified through next-generation sequencing Asian J Androl 15:301-308.
Brain Volume in Epilepsy
Pardoe et al. find that "Sodium valproate use in epilepsy is associated with parietal lobe thinning, reduced total brain volume, and reduced white matter volume."
The cover image shows antiepileptic drug combinations in intractable focal epilepsy cases. Linked drugs were being taken concurrently by an individual. Valproate cases are highlighted in orange.
2013Sodium valproate use is associated with reduced parietal lobe thickness and brain volume Neurology 80(20):1895-1900.
Improving miR-mRNA Predictions
Rijlaarsdam et al. describe an algorithm for improving miR-mRNA predictions.
"Algorithms predicting miR-mRNA interactions generate high numbers of possible interactions, many of which might be non-existent or irrelevant in a certain biological context. It is desirable to develop a transparent, user-friendly, unbiased tool to enrich miR-mRNA predictions."
2013 miMsg: a target enrichment algorithm for predicted miR-mRNA interactions based on relative ranking of matched expression data Bioinformatics
The rise of cheap and rapid genome sequencing has allowed for individual cancer genomes to be sequenced and compared to the reference human sequence. This comparison includes enumerating structural differences, as well as spatial characteristics across the genome, such as gene expression and methylation levels.
Circos is currently one of the standard methods to visualize these data.
My images created with Circos have appeared in a variety of scientific, general and book publications, such as Wired, New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio, and American Scientist.
In genomics, scientific journals like Science, Nature, PLoS, Genome Research and others have published papers that used Circos images (scientific citations).