No, it's not Christmas in a beehive. Instead, each hexagon in this shifting honeycomb represents a gene. A computer program called GATE makes these movies by reading the data from an experiment and grouping genes that turn on (red) and off (green) at similar times. When researchers click on any part of the honeycomb, GATE connects them to databases brimming with more information about gene and protein activity. Such interaction helps biologists wrap their heads around the vast amount of data they and their colleagues have gathered. It also inspires new hypotheses in areas as diverse as stem cell differentiation and ecosystem evolution. Courtesy of the Ma'ayan Laboratory, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Featured in the February 17, 2010, issue of Biomedical Beat.