Blood cancers

Scientists create ‘Wikipedia’ of blood cell types

Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016

A new online database of blood cell types developed by Australian researchers could be the key to finding cures for a myriad of diseases.

Known as Haemopaedia, the database is a comprehensive collection of transcriptional profiles from the mouse, covering 54 diverse hematopoietic cell types.

The web portal Haemosphere that supports it will enable improved understanding of the molecular and genetic regulation of blood cell function and production, say the researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. 

The online platform allows users to access, analyse and cross-reference their research data and is freely available to the public as well as the scientific community.

“This resource will help scientists across the world to discover patterns of gene expression that show how particular cells may be targeted by drugs,” said lead researcher Dr Carolyn de Graaf.

Publishing their findings in Stem Cell Reports the researchers said the Haemopedia gene-expression data can be used to: “reconstruct the relationships between cell types, to identify lineage-specific gene sets that include genes not previously associated with particular blood cell types, and to identify new subpopulations of hematopoietic cells.”


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