HEROD: a human ethnic and regional specific omics database

Bioinformatics. 2017 Oct 15;33(20):3276-3282. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btx340.


Motivation: Genetic and gene expression variations within and between populations and across geographical regions have substantial effects on the biological phenotypes, diseases, and therapeutic response. The development of precision medicines can be facilitated by the OMICS studies of the patients of specific ethnicity and geographic region. However, there is an inadequate facility for broadly and conveniently accessing the ethnic and regional specific OMICS data.

Results: Here, we introduced a new free database, HEROD, a human ethnic and regional specific OMICS database. Its first version contains the gene expression data of 53 070 patients of 169 diseases in seven ethnic populations from 193 cities/regions in 49 nations curated from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), the ArrayExpress Archive of Functional Genomics Data (ArrayExpress), the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). Geographic region information of curated patients was mainly manually extracted from referenced publications of each original study. These data can be accessed and downloaded via keyword search, World map search, and menu-bar search of disease name, the international classification of disease code, geographical region, location of sample collection, ethnic population, gender, age, sample source organ, patient type (patient or healthy), sample type (disease or normal tissue) and assay type on the web interface.

Availability and implementation: The HEROD database is freely accessible at http://bidd2.nus.edu.sg/herod/index.php. The database and web interface are implemented in MySQL, PHP and HTML with all major browsers supported.

Contact: phacyz@nus.edu.sg.

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Population Groups / genetics*
  • Transcriptome*