A new search engine for researchers: having trouble looking for that antibody?
This is a sort of follow on to a number of my past blog posts on open science, data sharing and web 2.0 as I thought it was a good example of how all these areas feed into each other and can beneﬁt researchers.
It also relates to a personal frustration, of looking for a speciﬁc antibody/protein/receptor only to ﬁnd out I have been using the wrong name to ﬁnd it.
Antibodies play an important role in modern pharmaceutical research but often it is difﬁcult to ﬁnd out useful information about them as the gene and proteins names do not have a standard nomenclature. Though the CD nomenclature was developed to classify the many monoclonal antibodies generated by different laboratories around the world, it is not always used to in the literature.
The approximate 5000, 000- 1,000,000 human proteins have an average ﬁve synonyms and often a number of different spelling variants. Recently a Transinsight, RESprotect and TU Dresden have received two years of funding to develop a search engine speciﬁcally designed to ﬁnd antibodies mentioned in scientiﬁc and non-scientiﬁc texts.
The hope is that this will enable researchers to access more information about a speciﬁc antibody and ultimately lead to better and quicker drug development. The second phase will see the development of a platform to elucidate interaction networks that will integrate all the textual information about a know compound to better understand the potential activity of a resulting drug.