Audio Interview

MassBank development and future

Published on April 21, 2020   10 min

Other Talks in the Playlist: Research and Clinical Interviews

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Interviewer: Dr. Emma Schymanski, thank you very much for taking the time to discuss MassBank, perhaps let's start with a brief description of MassBank and your role in it. Dr. Schymanski: MassBank is an open spectral library, it was designed originally for the metabolomics field, we have now taken it and extended it a bit for the environmental field. It's made up of spectra from all around the world, we have contributors in several different countries and we now have three servers: the Japanese server (the original), the European server which I've been involved with since 2012 and also recently an American server, run by Oliver Finn and his group. My main role in MassBank is to expand this towards the environmental community, to share the data between a lot of members of what we call the NORMAN Network, which is an environmental community in Europe. We can exchange our spectra and our knowledge between our members and also around the world so people can improve the identification of environmental contaminants. At the same time we're also developing tools for metabolomics, and working with other spectral libraries beyond MassBank towards exchanging this information around the world. Interviewer: Excellent thank you. What are the challenges in getting the scientific community to contribute to this database? Are there any steps that are taken from your end to encourage more contributions? Dr. Schymanski: We've found throughout the years that we've been involved that there's a lot of resistance to contributing, and this is actually for many reasons. Mostly, it's just time, people would like to but they don't have time, so some of the steps here are trying to develop tools and methods for people to be able to contribute their data more quickly or in an easier way. We've had mixed success with some of the tools, we've developed some great interfaces that are still very complicated for people to use.