The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 43: 397 - 403 (1999)

Vol 43, Issue 5

Special Issue: Nephrogenesis

A bioinformatics approach to investigating developmental pathways in the kidney and other tissues

Published: 1 August 1999

J B Bard

Department of Biomedical Science, Edinburgh University, United Kingdom.


Over the past few years, large amounts of data linking gene-expression (GE) patterns and other genetic data with the development of the mouse kidney have been published, and the next task will be to integrate these data with the molecular networks responsible for the emergence of the kidney phenotype. This paper discusses how a start to this task can be made by using the kidney database and its associated search tools, and shows how the data generated by such an approach can be used as a guide to future experimentation. Many of the events taking place as the kidney develops do, of course, also take place in other tissues and organisms and it will soon be possible to incorporate relevant information from these systems into analyses of kidney data as well as the new information from microarray technology. The key to success here will be the ability to access over the internet data from the textual and graphical databases for the mouse and other organisms now being established. In order to do this, informatic tools will be needed that will allow a user working with one database to query another. This paper also considers both the types of tools that will be necessary and the databases on which they will operate.

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