Bio Relations and Intelligence Network (BRAIN)

About the resource

Type of resource: Data and literature mining
License/availability: Open source
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Description

The Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) has started a structural collaboration with the SME EURETOS. The collaboration centers on the EURETOS platform BRAIN (Bio Relations and Intelligence Network). BRAIN uses several of the data models and algorithms for data and literature mining originally developed and published by the biosemantics group at LUMC and has already integrated more than 50 biomedical resources, such as PubMed, Uniprot, Human Protein Atlas and the Comparative Toxicological Database. BRAIN enables users to create mindmaps that visualize the relations between biological concepts, such as genes and diseases. This makes it possible to access the data sources all at once, circumventing the need to visit them individually. All data are published in nanopublications (www.nanopub.org). A nanopublication is the smallest possible statement of knowledge and the evidence behind it. For example: [HSD11B1 – associated with – HIV infections, which is stated in 3 publications (evidence)]. With this unique approach, BRAIN creates a single knowledge cloud and enables its users to create comprehensive overviews of direct (published) or indirect (unpublished but potential) relations and even statistically predict their likelihood.

At the same time BRAIN enables users to answer complex research questions in a matter of minutes through customized workflows in the area of genetic variant analysis, biomarker discovery, drug target selection and pathway exploration. Recently the Gene Disease Association Study (GDAS) was initiated. The main goal of the GDAS initiative is to accelerate the understanding of the biological mechanisms behind (rare) diseases. In this setting, BRAIN is used to rationalize novel gene:disease associations and perform quick checks whether a genetic defect is likely to be the underlying cause for the disease. As an example, DDX58 has been recently associated with Singleton-Merton syndrome, a finding recently highlighted in the Orphanet News. BRAIN gives clues on the mechanisms explaining this novel gene:disease association, already before it was reported in the literature.

In summary BRAIN enables life sciences professionals to:

  1. Search through numerous data sources at once
  2. Find and map published knowledge and instantly access the evidence
  3. Find indirect relations and scientifically predict their likelihood
  4. Get answers to complex research questions in minutes