AutDB FAQ’s | MindSpec

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What is the concept behind AutDB?

Because autism is a complex disorder, there are many types of research data available, such as genetic, imaging, and clinical information. AutDB is designed to be a modular database that curates all these different types of data in one place. AutDB’s first module is on genetics which includes data on single gene mutations, genome-wide associations, and candidate gene associations related to autism. An animal model module has now been added to AutDB.

How is AutDB maintained?

MindSpec hires experts in molecular biology, neurobiology and other specialized fields to read papers on autism published in the peer-reviewed scientific and clinical journals. The experts manually extract the information from these papers to update AutDB with the latest, scientifically-accepted information. AutDB does not contain data from Internet resources. There isn’t any other autism resource with the kind of information that AutDB has.

How do I use AutDB?

AutDB is freely available to any user. It is also licensed to the Simons Foundation as SFARI Gene.  Registration is not required to search and retrieve of data from AutDB. However, registration is required to submit annotations to AutDB. Please refer to the User Guide for more detailed instructions on using the database.

 I am a scientist in the autism research community. May I contribute to AutDB?

Absolutely! One of the major goals of MindSpec is to have the autism research community participate in updating AutDB and making sure its content is kept current. There are two tools in the genetic module of AutDB: “Add a gene” and “Edit a gene”. Anyone who has registered on our website can use these tools to update modules.

[Please note that AutDB only contains information from the peer-reviewed scientific and clinical literature. Data presented at talks and conferences are not accepted. Two scientists at MindSpec will independently check all annotations submitted by the community. MindSpec continues to build even more user-friendly modules for community participation.]

 What is SFARI Gene?

In 2008, MindSpec licensed AutDB to the Simons Foundation. The Simons Foundation is a private organization based in New York City that supports basic research on autism as well as the physical and life sciences and mathematics. The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) licensed AutDB as SFARI Gene.

The foundation is generously giving financial support for the development of AutDB’s second phase where AutDB’s functionality will be increased by the addition of interactive modules. These modules will allow the research community deposit new genes and annotations. Additionally, AutDB will expand to include new data types and modules relevant for the biology of ASD, providing molecular insight into candidate gene functions.