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Bioinformatics and Biostatistics: A Guide

Databases, tools, software, journals, books, lab protocols and websites of use in bioinformatics/biomedical informatics.

Bioinformatics Basics

For biostatistics data services at Tulane, consult the La CATS team at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. 

The LA CaTS (Louisiana Clinical and Translational Sciences) award is a collaborative NIH grant in which the Pennington Biomedical Research Center is the lead institution, LSUHSC and Tulane are primary collaborative institutions and Xavier, LSU Shreveport, Children’s and other Louisans Institution are research partners.

One of the key functions of LaCats is to provide consultation, guidance, and analytical resources for the study design, epidemiology and statistical analysis of research at our LA CaTS institutions, through the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core.

Link: https://lacats.pbrc.edu/key-components/biostatistics-and-epidemiology-core/

Researchers can fill out a SPARC request for LACATS biostatistics support at https://lacats.pbrc.edu/resources/sparc/ & one of the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core members will then contact you to schedule a meeting.

Bioinformatics:

(1) rapidly growing branch of biology, highly interdisplinary, and it uses techniques and concepts from informatics, statistics, mathematics, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, physics, linguistics, and other fields.

(2) ever-evolving new branch of science in which computer tools are applied to collect store, and analyze biological data to generate new biological information.

Sources: 

Marcus FB. Bioinformatics and systems biology. Berlin: Springer; 2008.

Ye SQ. Bioinformatics : a practical approach. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall/CRC; 2008.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is a major source for bioinformatics information and research in the United States. The NCBI advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. Its is the US repository of biotechnology information, tools and downloads.

Scientists use NCBI's GQuery to  search bibliographic, sequence, and structural databases. GQuery includes databases and tools such as  Human Genome, GenBank, BLAST, and PubMed. other NCBI databases. Gquery is a global search and best for very simple searches like accession numbers, organism. Searching the individual databases will provide more targeted results. 

Step 1: Identify the official gene name and/or symbol

HGNC - HUGO Gene Nomenclature CommitteeWhen searching for gene and proteins, it is helpful to know the official names. HGNC is the only worldwide authority that assigns standardized nomenclature to human genes.

Search HGNC to find the official gene name and symbol. Knowing this information will enhance your search. 

Example: The approved gene name and symbol for cystic fibrosis is cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (ATP-binding cassette sub-family C, member 7). The approved gene symbol for cystic fibrosis is CFTR

Step 2: Search for gene and/or protein information using NCBI databases

For best results in the specific NCBI databases below, have at least the following in your search:

  • [title] AND [organism]  
    • Ex: CFTR[title] AND human[organism]
    • Ex: colorectal cancer[title] AND human[organism]
  • [gene/protein name] AND [organism]
    • Ex: CFTR[gene name] AND human[organism] 
    • Ex: cycstic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator[protein name] AND human[organism] 
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