StemMapper: a curated gene expression database for stem cell lineage analysis.
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Transcriptomic data have become a fundamental resource for stem cell (SC) biologists as well as for a wider research audience studying SC-related processes such as aging, embryonic development and prevalent diseases including cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. Access and analysis of the growing amount of freely available transcriptomics datasets for SCs, however, are not trivial tasks. Here, we present StemMapper, a manually curated gene expression database and comprehensive resource for SC research, built on integrated data for different lineages of human and mouse SCs. It is based on careful selection, standardized processing and stringent quality control of relevant transcriptomics datasets to minimize artefacts, and includes currently over 960 transcriptomes covering a broad range of SC types. Each of the integrated datasets was individually inspected and manually curated. StemMapper's user-friendly interface enables fast querying, comparison, and interactive visualization of quality-controlled SC gene expression data in a comprehensive manner. A proof-of-principle analysis discovering novel putative astrocyte/neural SC lineage markers exemplifies the utility of the integrated data resource. We believe that StemMapper can open the way for new insights and advances in SC research by greatly simplifying the access and analysis of SC transcriptomic data. StemMapper is freely accessible at http://stemmapper.sysbiolab.eu.
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