How Can Bioinformatics and Toxicogenomics Assist the Next Generation of Research on Physical Exercise and Athletic Performance

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Kerksick, CM, Tsatsakis, AM, Hayes, AW, Kafantaris, I, and Kouretas, D. How can bioinformatics and toxicogenomics assist the next generation of research on physical exercise and athletic performance. J Strength Cond Res 29(1): 270–278, 2015—The past 2–3 decades have seen an explosion in analytical areas related to “omic” technologies. These advancements have reached a point where their application can be and are being used as a part of exercise physiology and sport performance research. Such advancements have drastically enabled researchers to analyze extremely large groups of data that can provide amounts of information never before made available. Although these “omic” technologies offer exciting possibilities, the analytical costs and time required to complete the statistical approaches are substantial. The areas of exercise physiology and sport performance continue to witness an exponential growth of published studies using any combination of these techniques. Because more investigators within these traditionally applied science disciplines use these approaches, the need for efficient, thoughtful, and accurate extraction of information from electronic databases is paramount. As before, these disciplines can learn much from other disciplines who have already developed software and technologies to rapidly enhance the quality of results received when searching for key information. In addition, further development and interest in areas such as toxicogenomics could aid in the development and identification of more accurate testing programs for illicit drugs, performance enhancing drugs abused in sport, and better therapeutic outcomes from prescribed drug use. This review is intended to offer a discussion related to how bioinformatics approaches may assist the new generation of “omic” research in areas related to exercise physiology and toxicogenomics. Consequently, more focus will be placed on popular tools that are already available for analyzing such complex data and highlighting additional strategies and considerations that can further aid in developing new tools and data management approaches to assist future research in this field. It is our contention that introducing more scientists to how this type of work can complement existing experimental approaches within exercise physiology and sport performance will foster additional discussion and stimulate new research in these areas.

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