The Bitfun* Lab conducts research to move ahead with our understanding of the links between a complex organism’s phenotype and its underlying genomic preconditions. To approach such mapping, we need to address at least two fundamental questions: how can we describe the mosaic of complex phenotypes in the first place, and how would we then combine which information from genomic markers in order to establish potential links.

Blockchain Platforms to enable Digital Sovereignty

Blockchain is a relatively young data structure with relevant attributes like the storage of data being decentralised, temper-proof and under no intrinsic control by a superuser. Having become famous through cryptocurrencies, blockchains today already invaded many areas beyond finance, such as supply chains and smart cities. In the near future, blockchains will likely further dominate our digital communication, and we are actively developing tools and use cases to remove technical as well as social roadblocks for the use of blockchains in research, healthcare and society in general.

IoT Systems for Continuously Monitoring Vital Signs

IoT (Internet of Things) has been coined as name for sensors that continuously send their readings over the network. The global increase in bandwidth and cloud storage also triggered a boom of the use of IoT systems across several sectors, manifesting these technologies already in several activities of everyday life, like smart home applications and fitness tracking. Medical devices built on IoT technology are underway, and we are pioneering a series of studies in hospitalised patients to evaluate their utility and the usability for monitoring vital signs.

Functional Elements and the Higher-Order Phenotype

Already in the first genetic experiments, researchers aimed for explaining the phenotype of complex organisms by genomic markers. Modern biology is blessed with a plethora of tools to read out the detailed nucleic acid composition of cells, which provides a comprehensive picture of several functional elements. However, our understanding of how to leverage these information for phenotypic explanations is still in children’s shoes. In this regard, we are developing our own ML and AI models to leverage phenotype classification based on genomics.

* Currently, our best bet for the composition of the acronym BITFUN is “Blockchains, IoT sensors, and FUNctional elements”. Let us know if you can do better.