At the Experimental Biology conference last week, we were “booth neighbors” with a group providing a database that we hadn’t heard of–LAMHDI. Of course, we love to explore new software that serves needs for biologists, and this seemed to be something of that nature. So we went over to learn more.
LAMHDI stands for their mission, which is described as an “initiative to Link Animal Models to Human DIsease”. The idea is to bring together various sources of animal model information, into a single Google-like simple search. Currently they incorporate the databases of several model organism groups: FlyBase, MGI, RGD, SGD, and ZFIN. But they are looking to bring in more of them as well–if you have an animal model database you might want to get in touch with them.
Besides the animal models, they also incorporate other sources of curated information that is used to link items together. They use OMIM, Entrez Gene, HomoloGene, and WikiPathways content to build a bridge that connects text from the animal model details to each other and to the related information. If a mutant zebrafish has a gene that available in HomoloGene, for example–it can connect that item to a mouse model or a fly model. There are pre-computed disease-to-model paths, and counting the number of hops one has to make between models offers a scoring system to indicate the strength of that relationship for a model system. That’s explained in more detail on their About page.
There is a large list of other model sources that they are working on adding to the collection. Check out their Featured Resources page to see these.
Not only will this be useful to researchers looking for suitable animal models when their research takes them in new directions–but the LAMHDI team also mentioned that it might also help animal care and use committees (IACUC) to evaluate the appropriate and available models under evaluation in their sites.
Consider trying LAMHDI for broad searches for animal models that might be useful for your research–or new leads on genes and literature that you hadn’t explored before.