Marta Costa

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BACKGROUND Anatomy ontologies are query-able classifications of anatomical structures. They provide a widely-used means for standardising the annotation of phenotypes and expression in both human-readable and programmatically accessible forms. They are also frequently used to group annotations in biologically meaningful ways. Accurate annotation requires(More)
Neural circuit mapping is generating datasets of tens of thousands of labeled neurons. New computational tools are needed to search and organize these data. We present NBLAST, a sensitive and rapid algorithm, for measuring pairwise neuronal similarity. NBLAST considers both position and local geometry, decomposing neurons into short segments; matched(More)
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is essential for neural crest development in several vertebrates. Genetic experiments in the mouse have shown that Bmp2 is essential for the genesis of migratory neural crest cells. Using several markers and a transgenic reporter approach, we now show that neural crest cells are induced in Bmp2 null mutant embryos,(More)
Bipolar disorder (BD) and cluster headache (CH) are distinct conditions with important similarities such as a temporal pattern of disturbances, dysregulation of the sleep–wake cycle, and response to lithium treatment in a proportion of patients. Aiming to identify common transcription signatures in these two disorders, we carried out an exploratory(More)
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic psychiatric illness with an unknown etiology. Lithium is considered the cornerstone in the management of BD, though about 50–60 % of patients do not respond sufficiently to chronic treatment. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) has been identified as a candidate gene for BD susceptibility, and its low expression has been(More)
The Drosophila anatomy ontology (DAO) defines the broad anatomy of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, a genetic model organism. It contains over 8700 classes, with close to half of these corresponding to neuroanatomical terms. We are systematically reviewing the DAO classes, improving the textual information and classification. This includes adding(More)
A massive effort is underway to map the structure of the Drosophila nervous system and to genetically dissect its function. Virtual Fly Brain (VFB; is a popular, OWL-based resource providing neuroinformatics support for this work. It provides: curated descriptions of brain regions and neurons; queries for neurons based on(More)
The distribution of sensory bristles on the thorax of Diptera (true flies) provides a useful model for the study of the evolution of spatial patterns. Large bristles called macrochaetes are arranged into species-specific stereotypical patterns determined via spatially discrete expression of the proneural genes achaete-scute (ac-sc). In Drosophila ac-sc(More)
Morphogenesis of the zebrafish neural tube requires the coordinated movement of many cells in both time and space. A good example of this is the movement of the cells in the zebrafish neural plate as they converge towards the dorsal midline before internalizing to form a neural keel. How these cells are regulated to ensure that they move together as a(More)
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