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What is Metabolonote?
Metabolonote is a specialized database system that manages "metadata" for experimental data obtained through the study of Metabolomics. This system was developed with the aim to promote the publication and utilization of Metabolomics data by simplifying the metadata record process.
What is Metadata?
Raw data output by analytical instruments and data analyzed by using the computer can be called "actual data". "Metadata" indicates detailed information accompanied with such actual data as the kind of samples used and the kind of analytic methods used for analysis. Metadata is also referred to as "data for data" or "information for information", which is essential information for handling actual data properly.
What is Metabolomics?
Metabolomics is a study field that seeks to understand the mechanism of living organisms by exhaustively extracting metabolites produced by living organisms. As a primary analytical device, the mass spectrometry connected with the chromatography (an ingredient separator) is used.
Previous Issues in Metabolomics
The conventional databases, where actual data was stored, used to manage metadata according to each database. However, the metadata accompanied with the actual data of metabolomics is very complicated, giving rise to the following issues.
- Databases of actual data must have individually built, unique systems for managing complicated metadata.
- There is poor compatibility of metadata because the description format is different between databases, making it difficult for users to understand.
- Description items are complicated, making preparation costs of metadata expensive.
- Sometimes it is difficult to trace information, e.g., detailed parameter settings of analysis devices, especially in the case that metadata is prepared long time after getting the actual data.
Concept and Advantages
In order to resolve the above-mentioned issues, a specialized database that handles metadata was conceived. That specialized database is Metabolonote. Use of Metabolonote has the following advantages.
Advantage 1: Write once use from anywhere
Metabolomics data is being used in a wide variety of ways. For example, data obtained from identical actual data can be used by the repository of analysis data (MassBase), the database of peak annotation (KomicMarket), and the library of MS/MS fragments(MassBank, Bio-MassBank).
Creating the specialized database for metadata makes it possible to refer to the same metadata from those databases of actual data. Therefore, users can browse metadata on the common format and they are no longer bothered by the data compatibility among databases.
Advantage 2: Accelerates the release of metabolomics data
In the release of metabolomics data, one of the most significant rate-limiting factors is actually the organization of complicated metadata. The study of metabolomics requires many steps and processes from the phase of instrumental analysis until the end of data analysis. Therefore, if lacks or ambiguity of description are found in metadata when data is publicized, a huge effort is required to trace back and confirm each of them.
Metablonote makes it possible for users to organize and manage metadata even when there is no actual data. With this feature, users can organize metadata while entering data on a daily basis just like they would an experiment record notebook. To release data, you simply change the access authority to metadata. This function contributes significantly to accelerating the release of data.
Features of the system
Feature 1: Easy editing based on the Wiki system
You can edit metadata easily on a web browser.
*A user account is required for users to register, edit, and release their own metadata. for more details about how to create a user account (free).
Feature 2: Easy to manage the hierarchical structured metadata
Metadata of metabolomics are divided into multiple layers. These layers include, for example, sample information, sample analysis information and computer analysis information of analyzed data. Metabolonote enables you to manage metadata in terms of these hierarchical structures.
Seefor details about Metabolonote's hierarchical structure.
Feature 3: Accessible via API
Use of API provided by Metabolonote enables other databases or application programs to refer to Metablonote data.
Seefor details about API.