Setting the Standards for Signal Transduction Research

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Sci. Signal.  15 Feb 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 160, pp. pe10
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2001844

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Major advances in high-throughput technology platforms, coupled with increasingly sophisticated computational methods for systematic data analysis, have provided scientists with tools to better understand the complexity of signaling networks. In this era of massive and diverse data collection, standardization efforts that streamline data gathering, analysis, storage, and sharing are becoming a necessity. Here, we give an overview of current technologies to study signal transduction. We argue that along with the opportunities the new technologies open, their heterogeneous nature poses critical challenges for data handling that are further increased when data are to be integrated in mathematical models. Efficient standardization through markup languages and data annotation is a sine qua non condition for a systems-level analysis of signaling processes. It remains to be seen the extent to which and the speed at which the emerging standardization efforts will be embraced by the signaling community.

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