The rate at which data is acquired frequently outstrips the capacity of the human mind to house it. Instead, we mine it. The ability to electronically cull the majority of mankind's knowledge of the functioning of a particular biomolecule at the push of a button would be an acutely effective, efficient research tool. Consider the benefits of crossing such information against single nucleotide polymorphism databases to identify the biochemical lesions associated with disease-linked mutations or associate the functional consequences of mutations with changes in the structures housed in the Protein Data Bank. Additionally, as systems biologists strive to integrate large swaths of metabolism, ready access to initial-rate equilibria and regulatory data will prove immensely useful. Perhaps the greatest value of such a database lies in the myriad ways in which it would integrate into the daily activities of individuals, worldwide. One cannot help but wonder what fraction of the protein-function literature is obscured or even lost to the researcher by imprecise search engines and retrieval strategies.
- protein-function database
- Information retrieval