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Neuroinformatics. 2007 Fall;5(3):161-75.

Sharing and reusing gene expression profiling data in neuroscience.

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Department of Psychiatry, UBC Bioinformatics Centre, University of British Columbia, 177 Michael Smith Laboratories 2185 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4, Canada.


As public availability of gene expression profiling data increases, it is natural to ask how these data can be used by neuroscientists. Here we review the public availability of high-throughput expression data in neuroscience and how it has been reused, and tools that have been developed to facilitate reuse. There is increasing interest in making expression data reuse a routine part of the neuroscience tool-kit, but there are a number of challenges. Data must become more readily available in public databases; efforts to encourage investigators to make data available are important, as is education on the benefits of public data release. Once released, data must be better-annotated. Techniques and tools for data reuse are also in need of improvement. Integration of expression profiling data with neuroscience-specific resources such as anatomical atlases will further increase the value of expression data.

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