The driving force behind the development of BioLayout Express3D was a frustration with available methods to analyse and display the results from microarray gene expression studies. Over recent years microarray technology has become more accessible, less expensive and probe density per chip higher. As a result, datasets are now larger and the data produced is more complex. Whilst there are a plethora of analytical, statistical and visual approaches available as open source software and commercial packages to deal with microarray data, many aspects of data analysis remain frustrating and of limited utility.
BioLayout Express3D provides an exciting alternative approach to analysing such data. In addressing this problem we have also created a powerful tool capable of supporting the visualization and analysis of large network graphs derived from data from many different sources.
The development of BioLayout Express3D continues be driven by our interest in the analysis and interpretation of biological data, and network-based approaches have proved to offer many advantages over, or in addition to, conventional methods. There is clearly much still that could be done with this tool and new applications that could be explored. We therefore welcome input from others as to desirable features or new areas in which it could be employed. In the meantime, we hope you find the current tool useful and enjoy the experience of exploring 3-dimensional network space.