What the heck is NGLY1 and why is Mark2Cure targeting it in the next campaign?

NGLY1 is the gene encoding for Peptide-N(4)-(N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminyl)asparagine amidase (PNGase) AKA N-glycanase 1.

A deficiency in this enzyme can disrupt protein quality control mechanisms in the cell, which as we’ve seen in the BioGPS Gene-of-the-week on BAG6 is very important. Learn more NGLY1 deficiency from this video created by the Grace Wilsey Foundation:

 
This post was originally written for Mark2Cure and can be viewed in its entirety here.

BioGPS Featured Article – Evaluation of the Synuclein-γ (SNCG) Gene as a PPARγ Target in Murine Adipocytes, Dorsal Root Ganglia Somatosensory Neurons, and Human Adipose Tissue. | The Su Lab

This week’s BioGPS featured article is really interesting because it looks at PPARγ targets in DRG neurons vs adipocytes in hopes of understanding how lipid metabolism influences and is influenced by the peripheral nervous system.  Check it out: BioGPS Featured Article – Evaluation of the Synuclein-γ (SNCG) Gene as a PPARγ Target in Murine Adipocytes, Dorsal Root Ganglia Somatosensory Neurons, and Human Adipose Tissue. | The Su Lab.

Mark2Cure featured in the Daily Aztec and more

Max is nearly done programming all the required training modules, which we’ll be testing out ASAP. (Hurray, I get to meet more awesome Mark2Curators!) We are aiming to launch the campaign for NGLY1 some time in April (it’s not set in stone, so fingers crossed) and could really use your help as we get closer to having an official launch date. If you have skills you think could help our project, please contact us!

This post was originally written for Mark2Cure and can be viewed in its entirety here.

Three marker colors? What’s coming to Mark2Cure

As Andrew previously alluded, Mark2Curators will be marking genes and drugs in addition to diseases in the next campaign for NLGY1. This has created all sorts of challenges which we’ve needed to address (actually, Max already incorporated the ability to do multiple annotation types from the get-go, but we didn’t have a chance to test how users would react to it). Fortunately, we have strong support from local Mark2Curators who have been eager to sort out our user experience issues, and our tutorials are currently being built.

In the NGLY1 campaign, Mark2curators will be able to use multiple colors to denote different annotation types which will be introduced in our new set of tutorials.

Mark2Curators have been a great inspiration to us, so we’re incorporating diseases of interest to our beta contributors into the tutorials and/or practice modules. Our next campaign is to help researchers find cures for NGLY1, but that doesn’t mean we will ignore the diseases our contributors are fighting against. By incorporating these diseases into our tutorials and/or practice modules, we hope to help raise awareness for those diseases.

This post was originally written for Mark2Cure and can be viewed in its entirety here.

Researchers amazed by citizen scientists in biocuration effort

Mark2Cure citizen scientists inspected >500 abstracts and submitted >10K annotations demonstrating that citizen science can be a scalable solution to the big data problem of biomedical literature.

A goal for identifying and annotating concepts in biomedical literature is to build a network of Biothings

(On a side note, if you’re interest in the network of biothings, there’s a hackathon coming up…)

We already have great resources and tools for genes, proteins, pathways, etc. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of biomedical literature because….

Hence the need to find a scalable solution. The Su lab first tested to see if non-experts could perform this task using a microtasking platform

A crowd of non-experts did better than a machine algorithm at this task…

…and could collectively give better results than a single expert

If you’re interested in the results from the AMT experiments, you can read about them here

So far so good, but there’s an issue with this approach as well…

Given the current state of funding in science, a more sustainable solution is needed.

And volunteers stepped in to demonstrate that citizen scientists can and will handle this task.

Just under 600 docs were annotated in Mark2Cure’s public beta experiment, but remember the problem is that there’s an average of TWO articles published every MINUTE!

Andrew finished strong by sharing the inspiring words of the volunteers who contributed to Mark2cure

Of course, if you missed his talk, Andrew was more than happy to share his slide deck

Finally, if you can read, you can help!