Agilent Technologies has introduced GeneSpring GX 11, the latest version of its desktop software for visualising and analysing microarray data, as well as GeneSpring Workgroup 11, the enterprise version.
Designed to support multi-omics research, GeneSpring 11 adds capabilities for genetic association analysis using genotyping data, genomic copy number analysis, and other analytical and visualisation tools to facilitate comparison of these heterogeneous data. Agilent's bioinformatics portfolio also includes Mass Profiler Professional, built on the same platform as GeneSpring, supporting proteomics and metabolomics data analysis.
In GeneSpring 11, researchers can have multiple experiment types, such as microRNA, gene expression, genotyping, and copy number, open simultaneously within a single window. This allows users to move back and forth between the data as needed without having to load each experiment separately. This functionality also allows researchers to easily combine data within a logical unit and compare results from different experiment types. GeneSpring 11 also allows researchers to find critical linkages and concordance between them.
While there are other software applications that support multi-omics data analysis, a major differentiator of GeneSpring 11 is the ease with which users can compare heterogeneous data and the depth with which they can perform biological contextualisation. A key tool for data comparison is the new genome browser, where researchers can plot multiple data types as tracks in the same view, and merge tracks to overlay different data types. For example, researchers can overlay copy number and gene expression data to assess concordance, or overlay copy number data and microRNA tracks to see if critical microRNAs are found in amplified or deleted regions.