DATABASE: All Together Now

Science  04 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5710, pp. 651
DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5710.651e

To deduce a protein's function, researchers need to know everything from its structure and location in the cell to what molecules it interacts with. But this information resides in disparate databases that often use different terminology, and compiling it “can be a painful experience,” says computer scientist Golan Yona of Cornell University. So Yona and his colleagues crafted Biozon, a database that merges the holdings of more than a dozen molecular biology collections, including SwissProt, KEGG, PDB, and BodyMap. The site lets you run searches that span different data types, such as finding 3D structures for all proteins that interact with the protein BRCA1, which is implicated in some breast cancers. The ability to compare results from different databases side by side also makes it easier to spot discrepancies.

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