October 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 18)
Strong Points: Easy to use, provides tutorial and example analysis
Weak Points: It would be nice to include links to literature citations
With a name that rolls off the tongue, FunDO (whose unabridged name is Exploring Genes Using FUNctional Disease Ontology Annotation) is a tool to help understand human disease. Developed at the Northwestern University Biomedical Informatics Center, this resource aims to facilitate the passage of knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic. In today’s world of high-throughput assays, it is not the acquisition of knowledge that is the problem. Sure, anybody can submit RNA to the core facility for microarray analysis, but when the sizable spreadsheet with the data is returned, then what? Using FunDO, scientists can input a list of genes, such as that from a microarray, and receive a diagram with the diseases to which their genes most map. In this, lists of genes are transformed into clustered, targeted results. The site offers a comprehensive tutorial as well as an example list of genes and analysis. FunDO is free, easy-to-use, and is a great place to start for anybody investigating genes and disease.