Computational Biology Project

Cryogenic Soft X-ray Tomography (cryoSXT) is a technique that bridges the gap between light microscopy and electron microscopy. Whole cells are imaged using soft X-rays in the “water window”, the photon energy range where biologically relevant elements such as carbon and nitrogen absorb X-rays ten times better than the oxygen in water. This provides whole cell context and the ability to visualise cellular compartments, organelles and some cytoskeletal elements. To answer biological questions, the data is labelled and computationally segmented into biologically relevant areas. However, the process of segmentation is subjective. This project will focus on measuring that subjectivity.
Students will learn a segmentation software called SuRVoS, and each will apply this knowledge to a segmentation of a small cellular region of interest. These segmentations will then be computationally compared to identify the amount of subjectivity between the two segmentations. Specific areas demonstrating high and low subjectivity will be identified between the two segmentations and hypothetical reasons for subjectivity will be outlined.