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Image of the Day: Melanoma Neural Network

A deep neural network can help determine how likely cancer cells are to metastasize.

Emily Makowski
Dec 9, 2019

ABOVE: Synthetic melanoma samples generated by the neural network
ASSAF ZARITSKY, GAUDENZ DANUSER, ANDREW JAMIESON, ERIK WELF, ANDRES NEVAREZ

Researchers are presenting new images from their deep neural network that analyzes melanoma cells at this year’s American Society for Cell Biology / EMBO meeting, which started Saturday (December 7).

Assaf Zaritsky, now at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, began this work as a postdoc in Gaudenz Danuser’s lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He and Danuser, along with colleagues Erik Welf and Andrew Jamieson at UT Southwestern and Andres Nevarez at University of California San Diego, developed a deep neural network that uses machine learning to distinguish melanoma cells that have high versus low metastatic potential—meaning how likely the cancer is to spread. This live-cell histology relies on subtle cues from cell actions rather than the traditional method of classifying the cells by shape and size. The authors plan on publishing a preprint of this work on bioRxiv in the next month or so, Zaritsky tells The Scientist in an email.

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Cells generated by the neural network morph between different levels of metastatic efficiency.
ASSAF ZARITSKY, GAUDENZ DANUSER, ANDREW JAMIESON, ERIK WELF, ANDRES NEVAREZ
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Cells transition from low to high metastatic efficiency.
ASSAF ZARITSKY, GAUDENZ DANUSER, ANDREW JAMIESON, ERIK WELF, ANDRES NEVAREZ

See “Image of the Day: Bad Behavior

Emily Makowski is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at emakowski@the-scientist.com.

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