Booly: a new data integration platform
1 Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0349, USA
2 Departments of Neurosciences and Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0608, USA
BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11:513 doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-513Published: 13 October 2010
Data integration is an escalating problem in bioinformatics. We have developed a web tool and warehousing system, Booly, that features a simple yet flexible data model coupled with the ability to perform powerful comparative analysis, including the use of Boolean logic to merge datasets together, and an integrated aliasing system to decipher differing names of the same gene or protein. Furthermore, Booly features a collaborative sharing system and a public repository so that users can retrieve new datasets while contributors can easily disseminate new content.
We illustrate the uses of Booly with several examples including: the versatile creation of homebrew datasets, the integration of heterogeneous data to identify genes useful for comparing avian and mammalian brain architecture, and generation of a list of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs with possible alternative disease targets.
The Booly paradigm for data storage and analysis should facilitate integration between disparate biological and medical fields and result in novel discoveries that can then be validated experimentally. Booly can be accessed at http://booly.ucsd.edu webcite.