Integrative Biology Approaches Applied to Human Diseases

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Alysson H. Urbanski
José D. Araujo
Rachel Creighton
Helder I. Nakaya


The study of multifactorial and complex interactions in human diseases has been transformed by the omics revolution. The speed and scale of omics analysis have increased exponentially in the past decades, and it is now easier and faster to generate large amounts of biological data. However, extracting meaningful information from this “sea of data” remains a major challenge. The field of integrative biology utilizes a holistic approach to integrate multilayer biological data. In this chapter, we introduce concepts and techniques for the analysis of single-layer omics data and for integrating multilayer omics datasets to extract meaningful and relevant biological insights. Integrative biology is a promising approach for the study of a wide range of human diseases. We also highlight some current challenges in the field, such as the need for more specialized and interpretable methods, while increasing the accessibility of integrative analysis for the scientific community.


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Chapter 2