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The laboratory rat has been widely used as an animal model in biomedical research. There are many strains exhibiting a wide variety of phenotypes. Capturing these phenotypes in a centralized database provides researchers with an easy method for choosing the appropriate strains for their studies. Existing resources have provided some preliminary work in rat phenotype databases. However, existing resources suffer from problems such as small number of animals, lack of updating, web interface queries limitations and lack of standardized metadata. The Rat Genome Database (RGD) PhenoMiner tool has provided the first step in this effort by standardizing and integrating data from individual studies. Our work, mainly utilizing data curated in RGD, involves the following key steps: (i) we developed a meta-analysis pipeline to automatically integrate data from heterogeneous sources and to produce expected ranges (standardized phenotype ranges) for different strains and phenotypes under different experimental conditions; (ii) we created tools to visualize expected ranges for individual strains and strain groups. We developed a meta-analysis pipeline and an interactive web interface that summarizes and visualizes expected ranges produced from the meta-analysis pipeline. Automation of the pipeline allows for updates as additional data becomes available. The interactive web interface provides curators and researchers with a platform for identifying and validating expected ranges for a variety of quantitative phenotypes. The data analysis result and visualization tools will promote an understanding of rat disease models, guide researchers to choose optimal strains for their research needs and encourage data sharing from different research hubs. Such resources also help to promote research reproducibility. The interactive platforms created in this project will continue to provide a valuable resource for translational research efforts.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Database : the journal of biological databases and curation
Rats have been used as research models in biomedical research for over 150 years. These disease models arise from naturally occurring mutations, selective breeding and, more recently, genome manipula...
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Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.
The analysis of a sequence such as a region of a chromosome, a haplotype, a gene, or an allele for its involvement in controlling the phenotype of a specific trait, metabolic pathway, or disease.
Statistical models used in survival analysis that assert that the effect of the study factors on the hazard rate in the study population is multiplicative and does not change over time.
An analysis comparing the allele frequencies of all available (or a whole GENOME representative set of) polymorphic markers in unrelated patients with a specific symptom or disease condition, and those of healthy controls to identify markers associated with a specific disease or condition.
Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.
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