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Proteomics. 2007 Sep;7 Suppl 1:35-40.

An update on data standards for gel electrophoresis.

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  • 1School of Computer Science and the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


The use of gel electrophoresis to separate and, in some instances, to quantify the abundance of large numbers of proteins from complex mixtures, has been well established for several decades. The quantity of publicly available data is still relatively modest due to a lack of community accepted data standards, tools to facilitate the data sharing process and controlled vocabularies to ensure that consistent terminology is used to describe the experimental methodology. It is becoming widely recognised that there are significant benefits in data sharing for proteomics, allowing results to be verified and new findings to be generated by re-analysis of published studies. We report on standards development by the Gel Analysis Workgroup of the Proteomics Standards Initiative. The workgroup develops reporting requirements, data formats and controlled vocabularies for experimental gel electrophoresis, and informatics performed on gel images. We present a tutorial on how such resources can be used and how the community should get involved with the on-going projects. Finally, we present a roadmap for future developments in this area.

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