Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Open Science - just do it

My blog is 5 years old today and to celebrate I am trying to actually do some blogging. There are a couple of reasons why I have blogged less in the past months. In part it was due to FriendFeed and also in part because I was trying to finish a project on the evolution of phospho-regulation in yeast species. Nearing the end of a project should actually provide some of the most interesting blogging material but I did not ask for permission from everyone involved to write about ongoing work.

I have to admit that although I have been discussing and evangelizing open science for over two years I have done very little of it. I have used this blog sometimes to put up small analysis or mini-reviews but never to describe ongoing projects. I have tried to start a side-project online but I over-estimated the amount of "spare cycles" I have for this. So, I have talked it over with my supervisor and I am now free to "risk" as much as I want in trying out Open Science. The first project I will be trying to work on will be on E3 target prediction and evolution.

Prediction and evolution of E3 ubiquitin ligase targets
As I have mentioned above, I have been working in the past months on the evolution of phosphorylation and kinase-substrate interactions in yeast species. I am interested in the evolution of regulatory interactions in general because I believe that they are important for the evolution of novel phenotypes. This is why I will be trying to study the evolution of E3 target interactions. In order to get there I will try first to develop some methods to predict ubiquitination and E3 targets. Since a lot of the ideas and methodology applies to other post-translational modifications and even localization signals I will in the future try to generalize the findings to other types of interactions.

Some of the questions that I will try to address:
- How accurately can we predict E3 substrates ?
- How quickly in evolution do E3-targets change ?
- Is there co-regulation by kinases and E3s on the same targets (and how these evolve) ?

Once I have something substantial I will open a code repository on Google Code.