Developing Web Portals to Image Databases for High-Resolution Three-Dimensional Reconstructions
Authors: Wei Dai; Yuyao Liang (co-author); Z. Hong Zhou (co-author)
Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.
The exponential increase of image data in high-resolution reconstructions by electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) has posed a need for efficient data management solutions in addition to data processing procedures. Although relational databases and web portals are commonly used to manage sequences and structures in biology, their application in cryoEM has been limited due to the complexity in accomplishing the dual tasks of interacting with proprietary software and simultaneously providing access to users without database knowledge. We previously reported our Image Management and Icosahedral Reconstruction System (IMIRS), which is seamlessly integrated with a SQL image database to manage cryoEM images for subnanometer-resolution reconstructions. Here, we describe the key issues related to the development of web portals to cryoEM image databases by illustrating our newly implemented IMIRS web portal. A web browser-based user interface was designed to accomplish data reporting and database related services, including user authentication, data entry, graph-based data mining, and various query and reporting tools with interactive image manipulation capabilities. With an integrated web portal, IMIRS represents the first cryoEM application that incorporates both web-based data reporting and analysis tools and a complete set of data processing tools, and should thus provide general guidelines applicable to other cryoEM technology development efforts.