Alignment-Annotator is a novel web service designed to generate interactive views of annotated nucleotide and amino acid sequence alignments (i) de novo and (ii) embedded in other software. All computations are performed at server side. Interactivity is implemented in HTML5, a language native to web browsers. The alignment is initially displayed using default settings and can be modified with the graphical user interfaces. For example, individual sequences can be reordered or deleted using drag and drop, amino acid color code schemes can be applied and annotations can be added. Annotations can be made manually or imported (BioDAS servers, the UniProt, the Catalytic Site Atlas and the PDB). Some edits take immediate effect while others require server interaction and may take a few seconds to execute. The final alignment document can be downloaded as a zip-archive containing the HTML files. Because of the use of HTML the resulting interactive alignment can be viewed on any platform including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS in any standard web browser. Importantly, no plugins nor Java are required and therefore Alignment-Anotator represents the first interactive browser-based alignment visualization.
Java has been extensively used for the visualization of biological data in the web. However, the Java runtime environment is an additional layer of software with an own set of technical problems and security risks. HTML in its new version 5 provides features that for some tasks may render Java unnecessary.
Semantic annotations of the biochemical entities constituting a biological reaction network are indispensable to create biologically meaningful networks. They further heighten efficient exchange, reuse and merging of existing models which concern present-day systems biology research more often. Two types of tools for the reconstruction of biological networks currently exist: (i) several sophisticated programs support graphical network editing and visualization. (ii) Data management systems permit reconstruction and curation of huge networks in a team of scientists including data integration, annotation and cross-referencing. We seeked ways to combine the advantages of both approaches.
Flux-balance analysis based on linear optimization is widely used to compute metabolic fluxes in large metabolic networks and gains increasingly importance in network curation and structural analysis. Thus, a computational tool flexible enough to realize a wide variety of FBA algorithms and able to handle batch series of flux-balance optimizations is of great benefit.
We present HepatoNet1, the first reconstruction of a comprehensive metabolic network of the human hepatocyte that is shown to accomplish a large canon of known metabolic liver functions. The network comprises 777 metabolites in six intracellular and two extracellular compartments and 2539 reactions, including 1466 transport reactions. It is based on the manual evaluation of >1500 original scientific research publications to warrant a high-quality evidence-based model. The final network is the result of an iterative process of data compilation and rigorous computational testing of network functionality by means of constraint-based modeling techniques. Taking the hepatic detoxification of ammonia as an example, we show how the availability of nutrients and oxygen may modulate the interplay of various metabolic pathways to allow an efficient response of the liver to perturbations of the homeostasis of blood compounds.
We present a laminar flow reactor for bone tissue engineering that was developed based on a computational fluid dynamics model. The bioreactor design permits a laminar flow field through its specific internal shape. An integrated bypass system that prevents pressure build-up through bypass openings for pressure release allows for a constant pressure environment during the changing of permeability values that are caused by cellular growth within a porous scaffold. A macroporous ceramic scaffold, composed of zirconium dioxide, was used as a test biomaterial that studies adipose stem cell behavior within a controlled three-dimensional (3D) flow and pressure environment. The topographic structure of the material provided a basis for stem cell proliferation and differentiation toward the osteogenic lineage. Dynamic culture conditions in the bioreactor supported cell viability during long-term culture and induced cell cluster formation and extra-cellular matrix deposition within the porous scaffold, though no complete closure of the pores with new-formed tissue was observed. We postulate that our system is suitable for studying fluid shear stress effects on stem cell proliferation and differentiation toward bone formation in tissue-engineered 3D constructs.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.