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GeNS: a Biological Data Integration Platform

Authors: Joel Arrais, João E. Pereira, João Fernandes, José Luís Oliveira


The scientific achievements coming from molecular biology depend greatly on the capability of computational applications to analyze the laboratorial results. A comprehensive analysis of an experiment requires typically the simultaneous study of the obtained dataset with data that is available in several distinct public databases. Nevertheless, developing a centralized access to these distributed databases rises up a set of challenges such as: what is the best integration strategy, how to solve nomenclature clashes, how to solve database overlapping data and how to deal with huge datasets. In this paper we present GeNS, a system that uses a simple and yet innovative approach to address several biological data integration issues. Compared with existing systems, the main advantages of GeNS are related to its maintenance simplicity and to its coverage and scalability, in terms of number of supported databases and data types. To support our claims we present the current use of GeNS in two concrete applications. GeNS currently contains more than 140 million of biological relations and it can be publicly downloaded or remotely access through SOAP web services.

Keywords: Data integration, biological databases

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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