May 15, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 10)
Strong Points: Customizable data-viewing options, good help section
Weak Points: Few experimental datasets included
There’s nothing like a shot of gene-expression data to wake you up in the morning! The NeuroExpresso database developed by the Pavlidis Lab at the University of British Columbia contains curated cell type–specific gene-expression data from microarray and single-cell RNA-sequencing experiments. Its goal is the discovery of novel molecular markers for functionally distinct cell types in the nervous system. The website provides a useful interface to visualize the gene-expression data contained within the database. Via the “gene search” option, users specify a gene, brain region, and experimental platform to view the resulting data in graphical form. In the graph, gene expression is plotted as a function of different cell types within the selected brain region. Users can restrict the data to particular cell types and can also divide the data into groups and perform a differential gene-expression analysis between the groups.