Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Introducing the ArrayExpress Atlas of Gene Expression!

Hello, everyone!

We are launching a new little project, the ArrayExpress Atlas of Gene Expression - do take a look. At the moment it is a basic query engine over a curated subset of microarray data in ArrayExpress, capable of ranking genes in order of their strength of differential expression in various tissues, disease states, and other factor variables in the database.

It is already a pretty useful tool. A recent Science paper by Bouatia-Naji et al., reported that a polymorphism in a gene called G6PC2 is associated with Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) levels, a finding important for understanding glucose homeostasis in the general human population. Curious about this gene, we queried the atlas database to see where it is over-expressed. The pancreatic islet organism part came up high on the list, as did, more generally pancreas. This computational finding verifies the fact that this gene encodes a protein selectively expressed in pancreatic islets. It is interesting, perhaps, to observe that it also was found over-expressed in several brain tissues.

We hope that eventually the atlas will become a platform for interesting research and a tool for extracting interesting biological data from the large corpus of public microarray studies. We will update you via this blog and our mailing list and hope to hear your feedback, requests and and ideas as well.

All the best,

Misha Kapushesky
ArrayExpress Atlas Coordinator

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