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Biosytems-A New NCBI Resource

There are many resources available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Recently a new Database called Biosystems was added. Biosystems is an Entrez database that collects information on interacting sets of biomolecules involved in metabolic and signaling pathways, disease states, and other biological processes.

A quick search for all records added to the database in 2009 for humans (2009[cdat] AND homo sapiens[organism]) finds 203 records on August 24, 2009.

Here’s a partial record selected from the results:

Biosytems record-cardiac muscle contraction

This record contains a brief description of the selected topic, cardiac muscle contraction, and a thumbnail diagram. This diagram comes from the KEGG database, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes, clicking on it will link to the full record in KEGG. Additional links and information are included in the full Biosystems record, if available. These include Related Biosystems, Literature, Genes, Proteins and Small Molecules.

One of the great benefits of the Entrez system is the interlinking between databases. Biosystems has been added to these choices. The links in the Biosystem record will link to Conserved Domains, PubMed, OMIM and others. Links to Biosystem records are also available in other NCBI databases. For example a search in the Gene database for human BRCA1, the breast cancer gene, will provide a link to Biosystems as one of the choices listed on the right hand side. Following this link to the Biosystems database will lead to Ubiquitin mediated proteolysis and the associated record.

It is difficult to give a full explanation of what is contained in Biosystems in this brief blog posting. Check it out at

Read the “About Biosystems Database” page found on the homepage for more information.  About the Biosystems Database

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