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Brief Bioinform. 2013 Nov;14(6):737-44. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbs055. Epub 2012 Oct 14.

Tools for the functional interpretation of metabolomic experiments.

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  • 1National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), Darwin 3. 28049 Madrid, Spain.


The so-called 'omics' approaches used in modern biology aim at massively characterizing the molecular repertories of living systems at different levels. Metabolomics is one of the last additions to the 'omics' family and it deals with the characterization of the set of metabolites in a given biological system. As metabolomic techniques become more massive and allow characterizing larger sets of metabolites, automatic methods for analyzing these sets in order to obtain meaningful biological information are required. Only recently the first tools specifically designed for this task in metabolomics appeared. They are based on approaches previously used in transcriptomics and other 'omics', such as annotation enrichment analysis. These, together with generic tools for metabolic analysis and visualization not specifically designed for metabolomics will for sure be in the toolbox of the researches doing metabolomic experiments in the near future.


enrichment analysis; functional analysis; metabolic pathways; metabolomics

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