Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Internet Res. 2017 Jun 16;19(6):e212. doi: 10.2196/jmir.6676.

MyGeneFriends: A Social Network Linking Genes, Genetic Diseases, and Researchers.

Author information

1
ICUBE UMR 7357, Complex Systems and Translational Bioinformatics, Université de Strasbourg - CNRS - FMTS, Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The constant and massive increase of biological data offers unprecedented opportunities to decipher the function and evolution of genes and their roles in human diseases. However, the multiplicity of sources and flow of data mean that efficient access to useful information and knowledge production has become a major challenge. This challenge can be addressed by taking inspiration from Web 2.0 and particularly social networks, which are at the forefront of big data exploration and human-data interaction.

OBJECTIVE:

MyGeneFriends is a Web platform inspired by social networks, devoted to genetic disease analysis, and organized around three types of proactive agents: genes, humans, and genetic diseases. The aim of this study was to improve exploration and exploitation of biological, postgenomic era big data.

METHODS:

MyGeneFriends leverages conventions popularized by top social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), such as networks of friends, profile pages, friendship recommendations, affinity scores, news feeds, content recommendation, and data visualization.

RESULTS:

MyGeneFriends provides simple and intuitive interactions with data through evaluation and visualization of connections (friendships) between genes, humans, and diseases. The platform suggests new friends and publications and allows agents to follow the activity of their friends. It dynamically personalizes information depending on the user's specific interests and provides an efficient way to share information with collaborators. Furthermore, the user's behavior itself generates new information that constitutes an added value integrated in the network, which can be used to discover new connections between biological agents.

CONCLUSIONS:

We have developed MyGeneFriends, a Web platform leveraging conventions from popular social networks to redefine the relationship between humans and biological big data and improve human processing of biomedical data. MyGeneFriends is available at lbgi.fr/mygenefriends.

KEYWORDS:

genetic variation; health care; hereditary disease; social media

PMID:
28623182
PMCID:
PMC5493784
DOI:
10.2196/jmir.6676
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for JMIR Publications Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center