A database just for the biological numbers!!!!

Being a life science enthusiast I have fancied the enormous amounts of biological databases and marveled by its significance. Our world has shrunken with data bases like GenBank, Swissprot, etc, where we can access just any information contributed by scientists around the world. However today I stumbled upon this totally cool database called BioNumbers. If you have ever wondered about “the fraction of mitochondria in neuron that are stationary at any one time point” or “the number of SNPs in a chicken genome” then this is the right place for you to visit!!!

BioNumbers (http://www.bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu) is a database of key numbers in molecular and cell biology. Contents of the database range from cell sizes to metabolite concentrations, from reaction rates to generation times, from genome sizes to the number of mitochondria in a cell.

Molecular biologists use numbers from the literature constantly: to plan experiments in the laboratory, to conduct thought experiments, and to construct and evaluate models. Availability of numbers is crucial in transforming our understanding of biological systems from qualitative, schematic arrows models to quantitative predictive models. Unfortunately for biologists of all stripes, finding numbers in the vast literature can be an incredibly time consuming and frustrating experience. Hence BioNumbers was developed.

BioNumbers currently contains >4500 distinct properties from >200 organisms. The data were extracted manually from >1000 separate references. The data in BioNumbers are accessible through two different search options: Free Text and Browse. The complete database can also be downloaded as a flat file at: http://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/resources.aspx.

Go ahead and explore this database. Maybe you were just waiting for something like this!

—By Ushanandini Mohanraj



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