Review of Biological Biochemical Image Database

 

Title: BBID-Biological Biochemical Image Database

URL: http://bbid.grc.nia.nih.gov/

Date Reviewed: May 20,2002

Description: The Biological Biochemical Image Database is a repository of images of putative biological pathways, macromolecular structures, gene families, and cellular relationships. These images are taken directly from research or review papers. It is a quick way of gaining insight into pathways without knowing much about them before hand. It is hosted by the National Institute of Aging, one of the branches of the NIH.

Strengths:

Simple concept and yet it has great utilitarian potential for getting a quick overview of pathways and relationships. The proverb “One picture is worth more than a thousand words” holds true here, because an image is a much more efficacious way of learning about the role of a molecule in complex pathways and to understand where it fits in the ‘big picture’.

The images are direct uploads from journals, wherein the reference comes in handy for additional reading on the subject.

Searches based on gene names, pathways, cell or tissue type, disease names and organelle level

List of all genes (710 total) in this database

List of all keywords (129 total) in the BBID data base

Well organized website (nice site map)

Weaknesses:

Limited size of the database.

The images roughly range from 1998-2001.

The site does not make its own maps and diagrams.

Comprehensiveness: Not very comprehensive

Timeliness: Moderate. The lists of genes and keywords were last updated on 2-23-2000,however a search for ‘calmodulin’ brought up an image from October 2001.

Ease of Use: User friendly and facile website to decipher complex pathways.

Responsiveness: Quick

Similar or Related Sites:

Biocarta Home Page

Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes page

http://www.genome.ad.jp/kegg/regulation.html

http://www.genome.ad.jp/kegg/metabolism.html

Boehringer Mannheim Pathways Chart ( part of Expasy)

STKE-Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment (Part of science online)

Dicussion of Complex Biological Pathways

Kohn Molecular Interaction Maps

Overall Evaluation: *** 3 stars (This site loses out on its rating mainly due to the limited size of its database)

Reviewer: Shveta Taparia

Email:shveta.taparia@tufts.edu