An object-oriented framework to organize genomic data



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Bioinformatics resources should provide simple and flexible support for genomics research. A huge amount of gene mapping data, micro-array expression data, expressed sequence tags (EST), BAC sequence data and genome sequence data are already, or will soon be available for a number of livestock species. These species will have different requirements compared to typical biomedical model organisms and will need an informatics framework to deal with the data. In term of exploring complex-intertwined genomic data, the way to organize them will be addressed in this study. Therefore, we investigated two issues in this study: one is an independent informatics framework including both back end and front end; another is how an informatics framework simplifies the user interface to explore data. We have developed a fundamental informatics framework that makes it easy to organize and manipulate the complex relations between genomic data, and allow for query results to be presented via a user friendly web interface. A genome object-oriented framework (GOOF) was proposed with object-oriented Java technology and is independent of any database system. This framework seamlessly links the database system and web presentation components. The data models of GOOF collect the data relationships in order to provide users with access to relations across different types of data, meaning that users avoid constructing queries within the interface layer. Moreover, the module-based interface provided by GOOF could allow different users to access data in different interfaces and ways. In another words, GOOF not only gives a whole solution to informatics infrastructure, but also simplifies the organization of data modeling and presentation. In order to be a fast development solution, GOOF provides an automatic code engine by using meta-programming facilities in Java, which could allow users to generate a large amount of routine program codes. Moreover, the pre-built data layer in GOOF connecting with Chado simplifies the process to manage genomic data in the Chado schema. In summary, we studied the way to model genomic data into an informatics framework, a one-stop approach, to organize the data and addressed how GOOF constructs a bioinformatics infrastructure for users to access genomic data.