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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 30;8(7):e70348. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070348. Print 2013.

HSC-explorer: a curated database for hematopoietic stem cells.

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Institute for Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (IBIS), Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Neuherberg, Germany.


HSC-Explorer ( is a publicly available, integrative database containing detailed information about the early steps of hematopoiesis. The resource aims at providing fast and easy access to relevant information, in particular to the complex network of interacting cell types and molecules, from the wealth of publications in the field through visualization interfaces. It provides structured information on more than 7000 experimentally validated interactions between molecules, bioprocesses and environmental factors. Information is manually derived by critical reading of the scientific literature from expert annotators. Hematopoiesis-relevant interactions are accompanied with context information such as model organisms and experimental methods for enabling assessment of reliability and relevance of experimental results. Usage of established vocabularies facilitates downstream bioinformatics applications and to convert the results into complex networks. Several predefined datasets (Selected topics) offer insights into stem cell behavior, the stem cell niche and signaling processes supporting hematopoietic stem cell maintenance. HSC-Explorer provides a versatile web-based resource for scientists entering the field of hematopoiesis enabling users to inspect the associated biological processes through interactive graphical presentation.

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