Stephen Montgomery-Smith and Frank Schmidt, Statistical Methods for Estimating Complexity from Competition Experiments between Two Populations. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Volume 264, Issue 3, 7 June 2010, Pages 1043-1046. Often a screening or selection experiment targets a cell or tissue, which presents many possible molecular targets and identifies a correspondingly large number of ligands. We describe a statistical method to extract an estimate of the complexity or richness of the set of molecular targets from competition experiments between distinguishable ligands, including aptamers derived from combinatorial experiments (SELEX or phage display). In simulations, the nonparametric statistic provides a robust estimate of complexity from a 100x100 matrix of competition experiments, which is clearly feasible in high-throughput format. The statistic and method are potentially applicable to other ligand binding situations. (pdf, actual article.)


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