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Open Access Software

MPHASYS: a mouse phenotype analysis system

R Brent Calder1*, Rudolf B Beems2, Harry van Steeg2, I Saira Mian13, Paul HM Lohman2 and Jan Vijg1*

Author Affiliations

1 Buck Institute for Age Research, Novato, California, USA

2 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands

3 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8:183  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-183

Published: 6 June 2007

Abstract

Background

Systematic, high-throughput studies of mouse phenotypes have been hampered by the inability to analyze individual animal data from a multitude of sources in an integrated manner. Studies generally make comparisons at the level of genotype or treatment thereby excluding associations that may be subtle or involve compound phenotypes. Additionally, the lack of integrated, standardized ontologies and methodologies for data exchange has inhibited scientific collaboration and discovery.

Results

Here we introduce a Mouse Phenotype Analysis System (MPHASYS), a platform for integrating data generated by studies of mouse models of human biology and disease such as aging and cancer. This computational platform is designed to provide a standardized methodology for working with animal data; a framework for data entry, analysis and sharing; and ontologies and methodologies for ensuring accurate data capture. We describe the tools that currently comprise MPHASYS, primarily ones related to mouse pathology, and outline its use in a study of individual animal-specific patterns of multiple pathology in mice harboring a specific germline mutation in the DNA repair and transcription-specific gene Xpd.

Conclusion

MPHASYS is a system for analyzing multiple data types from individual animals. It provides a framework for developing data analysis applications, and tools for collecting and distributing high-quality data. The software is platform independent and freely available under an open-source license [1].