Thursday, November 04, 2004

Meet... ChiliBot!

As you may know, I have a special interest in Bibliomics (science of scientific litterature). When you're analysing microarray results, you're confronted with a big list of modulated genes, and you want to extract the biological signification of it. The main source of information is Pubmed by far, but genes (and proteins) often have 5-10 synonyms... multiply this by 200 modulated genes, calculate the number of pairs of genes to look at (to see if known interactions exist), and you got a big problem.

Fortunately, bioinformatics programs to ease the pain just start to show up. You may already know Bibliosphere, by Genomatix. Quite excellent, but has its limitations (the number of analysis / month is limited). Enters Chilibot (OK, lousy name). Noticed the article describing its conception in BMC Bioinformatics last week, and had to try it. And let me say, its wonderful. Not perfect mind you... but close. You give it a list of genes AND/OR biological concepts (apoptosis, T-cell, HIV-1)... it finds automatically ALL synonyms and perform pairwise searches on Pubmed, then output the result in a very nice graph. Free. On the Web. Try it. Now!

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