2018-08-12 Labii Electronic Lab Notebook For Bioinformatics Data Analysis


Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELN) are the sole property of bench scientists

ELN is an acronym for Electronic Laboratory Notebook. It is a software program that, in this day and age, has replaced a traditional paper laboratory notebook. A laboratory notebook is one in which scientists, engineers, and technicians (bench scientists) record their experiments and research. All the steps and procedures that they use, the theory that led to the research in the first place, the basis of the theory, the result has gotten and the conclusion arrived at. All are recorded in a lab notebook which the Electronic Lab Notebook is the digital version of. The digital lab notebook has all the benefits of the traditional paper notebook and more. For one, it makes searching easier. Content, values and other data can also be easily copied, pasted and backed up. Collaboration within the scientific community is also made easier, faster and more convenient all via the ELN. So far, Electronic Lab Journal is sole designed to meet the requirement of bench scientists.

Bioinformatics analysis records are poorly stored

A bioinformatics scientist is one who uses the opportunities afforded by information technology and the computer to study, analyze and process biological information. Science has greatly progressed over the years and has gotten to a point where there is a lot of information available on things that were initially obscure. This has led to complexities and entanglements where using these data and information are concerned so much so that collecting, storing, analyzing and managing them is almost impossible without digital help. This help is what bioinformatics scientist provide to the scientific community via the use of computers and information technology. What bioinformatics scientists do is study and analyze massive amounts of data gotten through research. They do this on a minuscule level such as proteomics (which is the use of molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics techniques to study proteins on a molecular level), genomic sequence data and the likes. Genetic information is collected, analyzed and stored for scientific purposes by bioinformatics scientists. These can then be retrieved at a later day and age by those who require them. They also develop, design and tweak the software programs that are required to get this work done. How bioinformatics scientists do their work is through the writing and development of codes for the analyzation of data. They are part programmer and part scientist. However, given the nature of work that they do, documentation is more or less impossible. Until now, no concrete solution existed as how bioinformatics scientists will document and record their work. Most just utilize some quite simplistic methods that are inadequate to say the least. There hasn't been a way for them to keep track of whatever changes they make to their codes, no way to document the problems that arise during the writing and execution of their software programs and how they went about solving that problem. This has made the work of bioinformatics scientists hard, and strenuous. It has also stifled collaboration in that their works cannot be easily reproduced by peers in other places. The simple ways they have been using to document their works are mentioned below:

  • Use of a “read me” text file which explains and lays out the aims and objectives of the project. It is also used to keep track of whatever development and update they make to their document for reproducibility purposes.

  • Some bioinformatics scientists use private wikis to keep track of and record their work and whatever progress they make on it. The wiki page can then be made accessible to other collaborators on the project.

  • Version control software programs (such as GIT and SVN) are also used to keep track of changes to scripts and recorded datasets.

  • Use of a script (such as a .bash script) to record the steps taken in the development of said program.

What this means is that data collated and documented by bench scientists are not easily accessible to bioinformatics scientists. When they do get the data, and perform their analysis, bench scientists also find it a struggle to track the analysis results of the data. However, Labii has come up with a solution which is an Electronic Lab Notebook that allows bioinformatics scientists to do their analysis directly in the ELN. This is done via the use of function specific widgets that allows you to get more work done as a bioinformatics scientist.

Use Labii ELN and LIMS to perform bioinformatics data analysis

Labii ELN and LIMS extends the Electronic Lab Notebook functionality via the use of widgets that are required to meet the specific needs of your ongoing research. A widget is an independent application that is capable of performing a certain and singular function. In other words, bioinformatics functions can be add to a widget and can perform the bioinformatics analysis directly within Labii Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) and Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

The Labii ELN and LIMS utilizes widgets to allow you get more functionality from them by allowing you to dedicate your ELN and LIMS to only those particular functions that are needed to accomplish your project. For instance, most electronic laboratory notebooks come with fixed solutions which require that the intending user goes through several ELN’s looking for a particular one that meets his/her needs. If another project is needed to be done, that means that yet another ELN would have to be purchased.

The advantages of using Labii ELN to do your data analysis

Labii widgets allow you to do bioinformatics data analysis that you could ever do before and is promising to change the face of reporting in ELNs and LIMS.

  • It offers a cheaper alternative to outsourcing: Any scientist who has ever outsourced analysis of data knows that you pay for the analysis every single time you want them analyzed even if they are identical. Labii eliminates this need. If you need to analyze a particular set of data which are similar more than once, (which relates to you needing a particular functionality more than once), all you need do is contact us at Labii and we will develop the code for you. You can then put this code in your Electronic Lab Notebook and use for as many analysis as you require. You only pay once and that is for the code development and the memory hours required for each running of the code. This helps you save a lot of money that you would have otherwise spent in outsourcing the analysis of your data.

  • A fast and quick turnaround time: when you outsource analysis of your data, it more often than not requires a long amount of time than you would normally appreciate and require. However, with Labii, you get to drastically reduce the length of time required for you to get your results. Some analysis takes as little as a few seconds for the result to be generated. This bodes well for you as you get to work faster and more efficiently while saving a lot of time.

  • Easier and better collaboration: using Labii ELN and LIMS allow different bioinformatics scientists as well as bench scientists to work on the same platform and thereby stay on the same page. Metadata created by bench scientists in the course of the research can be handed over directly to other scientists (data scientists) via the Labii LIMS. This translates to faster and better communication and therefore, better and more efficient collaboration across board.

  • Better documentation of procedures and steps: Labii affords the bioinformatics scientist to better document their work. Every running of the program, every parameter that is input, every change made and logging in done (who logged in and other pertinent information) is well and properly documented for future purposes.

In all, the Labii Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) and Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is an essential tool that every bioinformatics scientist should possess. This is because it renders the work of a bioinformatics scientist easier and makes it faster. If you are interested in doing a better, faster and more efficient work, then reach out to Labii at https://www.labii.com/contact-us/ and we will gladly help you fulfill your needs. To learn more, schedule a meeting with Labii representatives (https://call.skd.labii.com) or create an account (https://www.labii.com/signup/) to try it out yourself.

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