Biology today is increasingly dependent on IT: genome-wide experiments yield massive amounts of data and there is a growing need for big data analysis. Public repositories allow consulting and downloading files from fellow researchers but raw genomic data analysis requires programming skills. This process consumes time and computer power, and updating results is usually a problem. Luckily for biologists, the startup InSilico DB has made possible genomic analysis without computing.
When researchers publish a paper involving genome-wide data, they deposit the files in public databases. InSilico DB synchronizes all the data from those repositories into one database. The staff at this company organizes all the samples infomation and develops algorithms to keep the information up to date. All information is then ready to consult with user-friendly analysis tools like GENE–E, Morpheus, GenePattern, GenomeSpace, Integrative Genomics Viewer, R/Bioconductor and Ingenuity Pathways Analysis.
InSilico DB also allows to become an active part of the scientific community by uploading original data coming from personal research, aggregating analyses of private data with public data or sharing private data with selected users.
A service that increases lab productivity and genomic data connectivity
Users are giving rave reviews to the site. The most valued aspects are its user-friendliness, the direct retrieval of data ready for analysis, availability of large data collections – more than 250,000 samples of microarray and RNA–Seq data (from human, mouse and rat) – and the time and money it saves. All the features commented in this article are free, and there are paying options for users requiring more storage space for private data.
InSilico DB is a game changer : it is already being used routinely in many research groups, modifying the way laboratories work, increasing productivity and connectivity.