Bio-IT Research Highlights

Towards a Holistic Self-awareness in Humans and AI

Self-awareness is involved in a number of cognitive functions of the human brain and correspondingly its disturbances are part of a number of disease of various statistical relevance. Self-awareness may also improve the efficiency in robotic systems by a more conscious execution of tasks (Celentano and Röning 2016a). Interaction among concurrent cognitive entities further expands the model in Celentano (2014).

For multi-robot systems, various cognitive and social inputs can be used for self/nonself discrimination, including the observation of the self, of the environment and of neighbour entities, as well as the exploitation of social interaction among agents. For example, even if the final outcome (e.g., relative positions of more robots) may look similar, it is important to discriminate what I am doing from what the others are doing. (Celentano and Röning 2016a) Sharing knowledge among agents further improves awareness (Celentano and Röning 2016a, 2016b).

In line with BISG strategy, cognitive functions in humans and in artificial entities are in this research collaboratively studied side by side to allow exploiting the results in both domains bridging neuroscience and artificial intelligence.

Developmental Biology

Our group has been primarily studying the mechanism of organogenesis that regulate establishment of complex tissue structures of functional organs are based on cell-cell and tissue interactions. We provided evidence that in the context of the mammalian kidney, the Wnt signaling pathway is critical to trigger the genomic program that leads to composition of the key functional unit of the kidney, the nephron. One of the major current tasks in our research line is to reveal the cellular and molecular details how the Wnt signal transduction induces and controls nephrogenesis. To obtain more throughput for the empirical studies we have developed several novel experimental in vivo and ex vivo cellular and molecular technologies. These should offer detailed experimental approaches to be conducted with in the kidney model system.

With the new strategic openings in Infotech Oulu, the group strives to initiate new projects which will integrate the biological sciences with the high throughput data analysis and processing capabilities.

Biomimetic glucose sensor

In a joint effort with VTT Espoo, we are developing a novel biomimetic glucose sensor which will measure the metabolic glucose level with an internal reference. This sensor doesn't require daily invasive measurements, and thus will be a new line of biocompatible, personalized medical sensing device.

Exosomes as genetic transfer materials

Exosomes are nanovescicles generated by the cell in response to environmental stimulus, and carry genetic material which can reveal the health status of a cell. We are screening for exosomes secreted in response to a kidney injury or disease, and also as a cell derived reprogramming material for genetic engineering purposes.

Genome and the electromagnetic spectrum

Our aim is to set the ground for new openings to identify novel cell-background radiation interactions mechanisms. Specifically, we will address the subtle roles of electrical and magnetic fields interacting with the cell genome, which has been poorly understood so far. This will be accomplished with genome wide biosensor screening tests performed by automated handling robots.

 

Last updated: 27.12.2016