I am starting to really like analytics. I started following the developments in the “analytics movement “after reading about companies like juice analytics , swivel , gapminder and “many eyes” at the bbgm blog. Along these lines Nature magazine also recently carried a news and views piece on IBMs many-eyes and the opportunities it afforded for scientific collaboration.
As a person closely involved in membrane protein purification , characterization and crystallization , I am always on the lookout for information related to the various aspects of doing membrane protein biochemistry . The very good compilation of membrane proteins of known structure compiled by Steven white at U.C Irvine was always my go-to place for information about membrane protein structures . But talking of analytics , I recently came across the very appropriately named “Membrane protein databank” which has a lot of compiled and elegantly displayed statistics on every aspect of membrane proteins structural biology ranging from the the expression systems and source organisms used to the detergents , additives and phasing methodology used for structure solution.
The MPDB seems to be a manually curated database which relies on the efforts of its creators to keep it up-to-date and accurate. As we all get increasingly open to sharing data pre and post publication . It will be exciting to see compilations like the MPDB emerge in the empirical and trial and error world of protein expression and crystallization trials . The advantages of using web2.0 frameworks to share and store information of the kind contained in the MPDB is exciting.
I cant wait for the day that a live RSS feed on my personalized google homepage informs me of the fact that Tim Toolman from the University of Xtal has crystallized a CLC channel from Halothermotrix orenii by expression in archaeoglobus fulgidus and it simultaneously updates a live graph of the many parameters used in these experiments probably available as a desktop widget on my google toolbar.