NEWS #latest

Synthetic lethality clusters in metabolic networks

2018/01/26  |  academic

Metabolic plasticity in synthetic lethal mutants: viability at higher cost

PLOS Computational Biology 14 e1005949 (2018)

The most frequent form of pairwise synthetic lethality (SL) in metabolic networks is known as plasticity synthetic lethality. It occurs when the simultaneous inhibition of paired functional and silent metabolic reactions or genes is lethal, while the default of the functional partner is backed up by the activation of the silent one. Using computational techniques on bacterial genome-scale metabolic reconstructions, we found that the failure of the functional partner triggers a critical reorganization of fluxes to ensure viability in the mutant which not only affects the SL pair but a significant fraction of other interconnected reactions, forming what we call a SL cluster. Interestingly, SL clusters show a strong entanglement both in terms of reactions and genes. This strong overlap mitigates the acquired vulnerabilities and increased structural and functional costs that pay for the robustness provided by essential plasticity. Finally, the participation of coessential reactions and genes in different SL clusters is very heterogeneous and those at the intersection of many SL clusters could serve as supertargets for more efficient drug action in the treatment of complex diseases and to elucidate improved strategies directed to reduce undesired resistance to chemicals in pathogens.

World Trade Atlas 1870-2013

2018/01/25  |  academic

Rethinking distance in international trade. World Trade Atlas 1870-2013 

The World Trade Atlas 1870-2013 is a collection of annual World Trade Maps where distance integrates the different dimensions affecting international trade beyond geography. The Atlas informs us about the long-run evolution of the international trade system and shows that, in terms of trade, the world is not flat, it is hyperbolic. The departure from flatness has been increasing since World War I, meaning that differences in trade distances are growing and becoming more hierarchical.Small economies are moving away from the rest of the world, except for their trade with the big economies, while big economies are increasing their chance of getting world-wide connected. At the same time, Preferential Trade Arrangements are not in perfect agreement to natural communities on trade space and have not necessarily effected an internal reduction of trade barriers. We discuss an interpretation in terms of globalization, hierarchicalization, and localization, three forces acting simultaneously to shape the international trade system. Watch the evolution of world trade with this interactive video tool World Trade Atlas 1870-2013

Upcoming event

2017/07/3  |  events

Join us!

The Macfang workshop focuses on the role of space in complex networks. We bring exciting speakers from around the world to foster a leading collaborative view on the emergent field of Network Geometry. A number of topics will be covered, including but not limited to multiplex network geometry, geometric networks at criticality, emerging geometries of evolving networks, and the importance of space in processes such as disease propagation.

New paper in Nature Physics

2016/12/01  |  academic

Hidden geometric correlations in real multiplex networks

  • Kaj-Kolja Kleineberg, Marián Boguñá, M. Ángeles Serrano & Fragkiskos Papadopoulos

Nature Physics 12, 1076–1081 (2016)

Real networks often form interacting parts of larger and more complex systems. Examples can be found in different domains, ranging from the Internet to structural and functional brain networks. Here, we show that these multiplex systems are not random combinations of single network layers. Instead, they are organized in specific ways dictated by hidden geometric correlations between the layers. We find that these correlations are significant in different real multiplexes, and form a key framework for answering many important questions. Specifically, we show that these geometric correlations facilitate the definition and detection of multidimensional communities, which are sets of nodes that are simultaneously similar in multiple layers. They also enable accurate trans-layer link prediction, meaning that connections in one layer can be predicted by observing the hidden geometric space of another layer. And they allow efficient targeted navigation in the multilayer system using only local knowledge, outperforming navigation in the single layers only if the geometric correlations are sufficiently strong.

Open call - CLOSED

2017/01/23  |  projects

PhD open call, Network Science

We welcome applications for a three-year PhD position within our program of Complex Networks at UB. The gross annual pay is 16.400€ approx.. 

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must have:

* a Master’s degree at the time of incorporation,

* a strong physics, mathematics and/or computer science background,

* a keen interest in developing and applying computational techniques to real systems from a Network Science perspective,

* an interest in working with real data,

* proved programming skills,

* fluency in spoken and written English.

To apply and for questions, you must send an email to Prof. M. Ángeles Serrano at indicating in the subject of the message “PhD-NS call “+ name surname of the candidate. The application package should include CV and a motivation letter. Selected candidates should be available for interviews (possibly via Skype) and practical tests.