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Design Studies related to the development of distributed, Web-based European Carbohydrate Data Bases

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The power of carbs

A sophisticated database of information on carbohydrates is in the making. The end result will speed up the study of related ailments and advance fields such as glycobiology very rapidly.

Digital Economy

Understanding carbohydrates is not only important for weight control. It also sheds light on many viral, bacterial and inflammatory diseases. Building a global database for carbohydrates and involved processes can help researchers collaborate in teasing out their secrets. The EU-sponsored project 'Design Studies related to the development of distributed, Web-based European Carbohydrate Data Bases' (EUROCarbDB) has taken steps to build such a database. Its aim is to advance the study of glycobiology by linking the database to bioinformatics systems and other high-tech tools. In more specific terms, the database will allow researchers to compare information on the genomics, proteomics, large-scale acid sequencing and glycomics related to carbohydrates. The database allows researchers to input both their raw data and interpreted results into one resource, resulting in a powerful online tool based on search algorithms and analysis. This facilitates processing and interpretation of results to a very high degree. In the same way that technology has accelerated the study of genomics through more efficient nucleic acid sequencing, EUROCarbDB is creating a similar system for glycomics. The project already developed the required architecture for the database during its mandate, and development is continuing beyond the actual project. Other components will be linked to the database, such as 3D structures derived from X-ray studies, multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra and studies regarding glyco-probes. The final database will represent a powerful open access tool providing free information and software for researchers to input their data and extract valuable information in this area.

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