Indexed on: 15 Nov '11Published on: 15 Nov '11Published in: BMC Bioinformatics
The biological phenotype of a cell, such as a characteristic visual image or behavior, reflects activities derived from the expression of collections of genes. As such, an ability to measure the expression of these genes provides an opportunity to develop more precise and varied sets of phenotypes. However, to use this approach requires computational methods that are difficult to implement and apply, and thus there is a critical need for intelligent software tools that can reduce the technical burden of the analysis. Tools for gene expression analyses are unusually difficult to implement in a user-friendly way because their application requires a combination of biological data curation, statistical computational methods, and database expertise.We have developed SIGNATURE, a web-based resource that simplifies gene expression signature analysis by providing software, data, and protocols to perform the analysis successfully. This resource uses bayesian methods for processing gene expression data coupled with a curated database of gene expression signatures, all carried out within a GenePattern web interface for easy use and access.SIGNATURE is available for public use at http://genepattern.genome.duke.edu/signature/.