Glycosciences.de: an Internet portal for glyco-related data from open ACC:ess resources
Carbohydrates are involved in a variety of fundamental biological processes, e.g. cellular differentiation, embryonic development or fertilization. Since glycans are secondary gene products and their structure cannot be easily predicted from DNA sequences, very little of the bioinformatics algorithm and techniques developed for genomics and proteomics research can be directly adapted for glycomics. The development of new and advanced bioinformatics tools, algorithms and data collections for glycobiology is an absolute requirement to manage and analyze successfully the large amount of data which will be produced by the upcoming glycomics project. The glycosciences.de portal aims to provide a platform, where (a) various glycorelated data collections originating from diverse open access resources as well as (b) tools helping to interpret and analyse experimental data of complex carbohydrates are made available using standard internet technologies. Access is provided based either on (sub)-structural descriptions, bibliographic data, physicochemical properties and experimental data like NMR, chemical shifts and MS-spectra. A normalised description for carbohydrate structures called LINUCS (LInear Notation for Unique description of Carbohydrate Sequences) is used to establish an efficient interchange between the implemented databases, tools and applications. The service is available at: http://www.glycosciences.de.
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