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Open Access Software

iPathCaseKEGG: An iPad interface for KEGG metabolic pathways

Stephen R Johnson, Xinjian Qi, A Ercument Cicek and Gultekin Ozsoyoglu*

Author Affiliations

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

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Health Information Science and Systems 2013, 1:4  doi:10.1186/2047-2501-1-4

Published: 10 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) is an online and integrated molecular database for several organisms. KEGG has been a highly useful site, helping domain scientists understand, research, study, and teach metabolisms by linking sequenced genomes to higher level systematic functions. KEGG databases are accessible through the web pages of the system, but the capabilities of the web interface are limited. Third party systems have been built over the KEGG data to provide extensive functionalities. However, there have been no attempts towards providing a tablet interface for KEGG data. Recognizing the rise of mobile technologies and the importance of tablets in education, this paper presents the design and implementation of iPathCaseKEGG, an iPad interface for KEGG data, which is empowered with multiple browsing and visualization capabilities.

Results

iPathCaseKEGG has been implemented and is available, free of charge, in the Apple App Store (locatable by searching for “Pathcase” in the app store). The application provides browsing and interactive visualization functionalities on the KEGG data. Users can pick pathways, visualize them, and see detail pages of reactions and molecules using the multi-touch interface of iPad.

Conclusions

iPathCaseKEGG provides a mobile interface to access KEGG data. Interactive visualization and browsing functionalities let users to interact with the data in multiple ways. As the importance of tablets and their usage in research education continue to rise, we think iPathCaseKEGG will be a useful tool for life science instructors and researchers.

Keywords:
KEGG; iPad; App; PathCase; Metabolic networks; Pathways