The goal of the Rat Genome Database (RGD) is to provide a research platform that delivers the data and tools necessary for investigators to advance preclinical and translational research. This involves acquiring, validating and integrating comprehensive genetic, genomic, phenotype and disease datasets for rat as well as human, mouse and other mammals used as disease models. One hallmark of the RGD resource has been the development of innovative data mining, presentation and analysis tools. RGD's user community has long included those using rat as a disease model, those doing cross-organism studies particularly with mouse and human, clinical researchers looking for models to understand the impact of genetic and environmental variations on disease mechanisms and those using informatics and computational approaches to analyze data. Increasingly, users are looking for access to data on precision models to validate and replicate potential genetic and environmental factors identified through clinical sequencing projects that may impact disease onset, progression or treatment. To support a diverse user community, we will 1) continue to acquire, validate, analyze, and integrate genomic data with increasing emphasis on variants, non-coding and regulatory elements for rat, human, mouse and multiple other mammals, 2) expand functional annotations beyond disease, phenotype, Gene Ontology, pathway and drug/chemical-gene interactions to expression, metabolome and microbiome data along with the analyses that provide connections among these and insight into commonalities among elements of datasets, and 3) provide quantitative phenotype profiles and expected ranges for individual strain models and controls along with genotype profiles with expansions to other mammals to assist researchers in identifying appropriate models for their studies. RGD will integrate data from multiple organisms into its tools and expand its genomic tools including the development of a comparative map tool. We will continue to assign official nomenclature to all rat genomic elements, mapped phenotypes and strains as part of our quality control efforts, resolve conflicts and identification for rat data integrated from multiple sources and return corrected data to originating sources. RGD will expand REST APIs and FTP site files to accommodate new and analyzed datasets and will continue to support users of multiple browsers and devices.
The rat has been a primary animal model used to study many diseases and physiological processes because of the rich genomic, genetic and phenotype data available. These datasets, along with those for human and other mammal models, are critical to advancing our knowledge of disease processes to develop new diagnostic, preventative and treatment approaches. The primary goal of the Rat Genome Database is to standardize and validate data, provide additional functional information from the vast published literature and provide software tools for researchers to mine and analyze data to further their research into human health and disease.
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