Analyzing user-generated online content for drug discovery: Development and use of MedCrawler

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Helfenstein , A & Tammela , P 2017 , ' Analyzing user-generated online content for drug discovery: Development and use of MedCrawler ' , Bioinformatics , vol. 33 , no. 8 , pp. 1205-1209 . https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btw782

Title: Analyzing user-generated online content for drug discovery: Development and use of MedCrawler
Author: Helfenstein, Andreas; Tammela, Päivi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy
Date: 2017-04-15
Language: eng
Number of pages: 5
Belongs to series: Bioinformatics
ISSN: 1367-4803
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/226032
Abstract: Motivation: Ethnopharmacology, or the scientific validation of traditional medicine, is a respected starting point in drug discovery. Home remedies and traditional use of plants are still widespread, also in Western societies. Instead of perusing ancient pharmacopeias, we developed MedCrawler, which we used to analyze blog posts for mentions of home remedies and their applications. This method is free and accessible from the office computer. Results: We developed MedCrawler, a data mining tool for analyzing user-generated blog posts aiming to find modern 'traditional' medicine or home remedies. It searches user-generated blog posts and analyzes them for correlations between medically relevant terms. We also present examples and show that this method is capable of delivering both scientifically validated uses as well as not so well documented applications, which might serve as a starting point for follow-up research.
Subject: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
220 Industrial biotechnology
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