InterMine, an ELIXIR Recommended Interoperability Resource (RIR), is an open source data warehouse used around the world. It allows biologists and bioinformaticians easily to query integrated biological data, providing a common interface to biological data resources. CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie Biomediche (CNR-ITB) is an institute of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) expert in applying omics technologies to understand human diseases with a strong expertise in bioinformatics. One of the main research topics in the Bari branch is the analysis of differential microRNA (miRNA) expression derived from small-RNA sequencing and assessment of the impact on downstream genes in various pathologies like neurological disorders and cancers.
We propose a member of CNR-ITB to visit the InterMine group for 10 days, in order to collaborate with InterMine staff to create a database that integrates expression data and data from miRBase, miRecords, TarBase, MiRTarBase, GENCODE and Ensembl. At the moment all the public data necessary for miRNA expression analysis and interpretation has to be collected manually from each related resource for each particular analysis, and imported to local databases in CNR-ITB Bari servers. In addition, researchers from CNR-ITB Bari produce their own data (typically NGS data) that they would like to integrate with these existing public resources, thus allowing integrative querying and enabling re-use of the data. Such analysis will facilitate the identification of miRNAs as new potential biomarkers for disease onset and/or progression.