The study of lipids has developed into a research field of increasing importance as their multiple biological roles in cell biology, physiology and pathology are becoming better understood. The Lipid Metabolites and Pathways Strategy (LIPID MAPS) consortium is actively involved in an integrated approach for the detection, quantitation and pathway reconstruction of lipids and related genes and proteins at a systems-biology level. A key component of this approach is a bioinformatics infrastructure involving a clearly defined classification of lipids, a state-of-the-art database system for molecular species and experimental data and a suite of user-friendly tools to assist lipidomics researchers. Herein, we discuss a number of recent developments by the LIPID MAPS bioinformatics core in pursuit of these objectives.
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