Synapse is a platform to support open, collaborative data analysis for clear, reproducible science. Synapse is currently targeting scientists working with clinical and genomics data.
Synapse is currently released, with ongoing modifications and improvements planned in coming months. It currently hosts over 10,000 data sets available for use. You can set up a free account and start collaborating, or you can download the source code at Github, view our developer documentation, and get started.
The Synapse platform is composed of a set of shared web services that support a website designed to facilitate collaboration among scientific teams, and integrations with analysis tools and programming environments.
Synapse goes beyond being a data repository and creates a computational platform for real-time research collaboration. We have begun to see evidence that a shared environment can help scientific teams find and correct analysis errors more quickly, get more diverse teams working on complex problems, and integrate disparate data to answer scientific questions
The organizing construct of the portal revolves around allowing users to define their own online project spaces to which they can post content (data, code, analysis history and results) and document their work online immediately upon production. Project owners are able to control access to their own projects: users can share projects initially with only defined collaborators or make them publicly available.
Synapse is now actively rolling out to support computational research. It is the official resource for hosting analysis-ready data for use in the TCGA pan cancer consortium analysis working group, and will provide the versioned, citable datasets referenced in the TCGA Pan Cancer publications from the Nature Publishing Group to appear as a collection later this year. The Mt. Sinai School of Medicine has also chosen Synapse to support groups working in Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
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