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See detailFAIR chemical structures in the Journal of Cheminformatics
Schymanski, Emma UL; Bolton, Evan E.

in Journal of Cheminformatics (2021), 13(1), 50

Abstract The ability to access chemical information openly is an essential part of many scientific disciplines. The Journal of Cheminformatics is leading the way for rigorous, open cheminformatics in many ... [more ▼]

Abstract The ability to access chemical information openly is an essential part of many scientific disciplines. The Journal of Cheminformatics is leading the way for rigorous, open cheminformatics in many ways, but there remains room for improvement in primary areas. This letter discusses how both authors and the journal alike can help increase the FAIR ness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability) of the chemical structural information in the journal. A proposed chemical structure template can serve as an interoperable Additional File format (already accessible ), made more findable by linking the DOI of this data file to the article DOI metadata, supporting further reuse . [less ▲]

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See detailEmpowering large chemical knowledge bases for exposomics: PubChemLite meets MetFrag
Schymanski, Emma UL; Kondic, Todor UL; Neumann, Steffen et al

in Journal of Cheminformatics (2021), 13(1), 19

Abstract Compound (or chemical) databases are an invaluable resource for many scientific disciplines. Exposomics researchers need to find and identify relevant chemicals that cover the entirety of ... [more ▼]

Abstract Compound (or chemical) databases are an invaluable resource for many scientific disciplines. Exposomics researchers need to find and identify relevant chemicals that cover the entirety of potential (chemical and other) exposures over entire lifetimes. This daunting task, with over 100 million chemicals in the largest chemical databases, coupled with broadly acknowledged knowledge gaps in these resources, leaves researchers faced with too much—yet not enough—information at the same time to perform comprehensive exposomics research. Furthermore, the improvements in analytical technologies and computational mass spectrometry workflows coupled with the rapid growth in databases and increasing demand for high throughput “big data” services from the research community present significant challenges for both data hosts and workflow developers. This article explores how to reduce candidate search spaces in non-target small molecule identification workflows, while increasing content usability in the context of environmental and exposomics analyses, so as to profit from the increasing size and information content of large compound databases, while increasing efficiency at the same time. In this article, these methods are explored using PubChem, the NORMAN Network Suspect List Exchange and the in silico fragmentation approach MetFrag. A subset of the PubChem database relevant for exposomics, PubChemLite, is presented as a database resource that can be (and has been) integrated into current workflows for high resolution mass spectrometry. Benchmarking datasets from earlier publications are used to show how experimental knowledge and existing datasets can be used to detect and fill gaps in compound databases to progressively improve large resources such as PubChem, and topic-specific subsets such as PubChemLite. PubChemLite is a living collection, updating as annotation content in PubChem is updated, and exported to allow direct integration into existing workflows such as MetFrag. The source code and files necessary to recreate or adjust this are jointly hosted between the research parties (see data availability statement). This effort shows that enhancing the FAIRness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) of open resources can mutually enhance several resources for whole community benefit. The authors explicitly welcome additional community input on ideas for future developments. [less ▲]

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See detailAn annotation database for chemicals of emerging concern in exposome research
Meijer, Jeroen; Lamoree, Marja; Hamers, Timo et al

in Environment International (2021), 152

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See detailpatRoon: open source software platform for environmental mass spectrometry based non-target screening
Helmus, Rick; ter Laak, Thomas L.; van Wezel, Annemarie P. et al

in Journal of Cheminformatics (2021), 13(1), 1

Abstract Mass spectrometry based non-target analysis is increasingly adopted in environmental sciences to screen and identify numerous chemicals simultaneously in highly complex samples. However, current ... [more ▼]

Abstract Mass spectrometry based non-target analysis is increasingly adopted in environmental sciences to screen and identify numerous chemicals simultaneously in highly complex samples. However, current data processing software either lack functionality for environmental sciences, solve only part of the workflow, are not openly available and/or are restricted in input data formats. In this paper we present patRoon , a new R based open-source software platform, which provides comprehensive, fully tailored and straightforward non-target analysis workflows. This platform makes the use, evaluation and mixing of well-tested algorithms seamless by harmonizing various common (primarily open) software tools under a consistent interface. In addition patRoon offers various functionality and strategies to simplify and perform automated processing of complex (environmental) data effectively. patRoon implements several effective optimization strategies to significantly reduce computational times. The ability of patRoon to perform time-efficient and automated non-target data annotation of environmental samples is demonstrated with a simple and reproducible workflow using open-access data of spiked samples from a drinking water treatment plant study. In addition, the ability to easily use, combine and evaluate different algorithms was demonstrated for three commonly used feature finding algorithms. This article, combined with already published works, demonstrate that patRoon helps make comprehensive (environmental) non-target analysis readily accessible to a wider community of researchers. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and Application of Liquid Chromatographic Retention Time Indices in HRMS-Based Suspect and Nontarget Screening
Aalizadeh, Reza; Alygizakis, Nikiforos A.; Schymanski, Emma UL et al

in Analytical Chemistry (2021), 93(33), 11601--11611

There is an increasing need for comparable and harmonized retention times (tR) in liquid chromatography (LC) among different laboratories, to provide supplementary evidence for the identity of compounds ... [more ▼]

There is an increasing need for comparable and harmonized retention times (tR) in liquid chromatography (LC) among different laboratories, to provide supplementary evidence for the identity of compounds in high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS)-based suspect and nontarget screening investigations. In this study, a rigorously tested, flexible, and less system-dependent unified retention time index (RTI) approach for LC is presented, based on the calibration of the elution pattern. Two sets of 18 calibrants were selected for each of ESI+ and ESI-based on the maximum overlap with the retention times and chemical similarity indices from a total set of 2123 compounds. The resulting calibration set, with RTI set to range between 1 and 1000, was proposed as the most appropriate RTI system after rigorous evaluation, coordinated by the NORMAN network. The validation of the proposed RTI system was done externally on different instrumentation and LC conditions. The RTI can also be used to check the reproducibility and quality of LC conditions. Two quantitative structure−retention relationship (QSRR)-based models were built based on the developed RTI systems, which assist in the removal of false-positive annotations. The applicability domains of the QSRR models allowed completing the identification process with higher confidence for substances within the domain, while indicating those substances for which results should be treated with caution. The proposed RTI system was used to improve confidence in suspect and nontarget screening and increase the comparability between laboratories as demonstrated for two examples. All RTI-related calculations can be performed online at http://rti.chem.uoa.gr/. [less ▲]

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See detailRecent analytical methods for risk assessment of emerging contaminants in ecosystems
Bataineh, Mahmoud; Schymanski, Emma UL; Gallampois, Christine M. J.

in Pollution Assessment for Sustainable Practices in Applied Sciences and Engineering (2021)

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See detailLIPAD (LRRK2/Luebeck International Parkinson's Disease) Study Protocol: Deep Phenotyping of an International Genetic Cohort
Usnich, Tatiana; Vollstedt, Eva-Juliane; Schell, Nathalie et al

in Frontiers in Neurology (2021), 12

Background: Pathogenic variants in the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 ( LRRK2) gene are the most common known monogenic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 -linked PD is clinically indistinguishable ... [more ▼]

Background: Pathogenic variants in the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 ( LRRK2) gene are the most common known monogenic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 -linked PD is clinically indistinguishable from idiopathic PD and inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with reduced penetrance and variable expressivity that differ across ethnicities and geographic regions. Objective: To systematically assess clinical signs and symptoms including non-motor features, comorbidities, medication and environmental factors in PD patients, unaffected LRRK2 pathogenic variant carriers, and controls. A further focus is to enable the investigation of modifiers of penetrance and expressivity of LRRK2 pathogenic variants using genetic and environmental data. Methods: Eligible participants are invited for a personal or online examination which comprises completion of a detailed eCRF and collection of blood samples (to obtain DNA, RNA, serum/plasma, immune cells), urine as well as household dust. We plan to enroll 1,000 participants internationally: 300 with LRRK2 -linked PD, 200 with LRRK2 pathogenic variants but without PD, 100 PD patients with pathogenic variants in the GBA or PRKN genes, 200 patients with idiopathic PD, and 200 healthy persons without pathogenic variants. Results: The eCRF consists of an investigator-rated (1 h) and a self-rated (1.5 h) part. The first part includes the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating, Hoehn \&Yahr, and Schwab \& England Scales, the Brief Smell Identification Test, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment. The self-rating part consists of a PD risk factor, food frequency, autonomic dysfunction, and quality of life questionnaires, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory, and the Epworth Sleepiness as well as the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales. The first 15 centers have been initiated and the first 150 participants enrolled (as of March 25th, 2021). Conclusions: LIPAD is a large-scale international scientific effort focusing on deep phenotyping of LRRK2 -linked PD and healthy pathogenic variant carriers, including the comparison with additional relatively frequent genetic forms of PD, with a future perspective to identify genetic and environmental modifiers of penetrance and expressivity Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT04214509. [less ▲]

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See detailOccurrence and Distribution of Pharmaceuticals and Their Transformation Products in Luxembourgish Surface Waters
Singh, Randolph UL; Lai, Adelene UL; Krier, Jessy UL et al

in ACS Environmental Au (2021)

Pharmaceuticals and their transformation products (TPs) are continuously released into the aquatic environment via anthropogenic activity. To expand knowledge on the presence of pharmaceuticals and their ... [more ▼]

Pharmaceuticals and their transformation products (TPs) are continuously released into the aquatic environment via anthropogenic activity. To expand knowledge on the presence of pharmaceuticals and their known TPs in Luxembourgish rivers, 92 samples collected during routine monitoring events between 2019 and 2020 were investigated using nontarget analysis. Water samples were concentrated using solid-phase extraction and then analyzed using liquid chromatography coupled to a high-resolution mass spectrometer. Suspect screening was performed using several open source computational tools and resources including Shinyscreen (https://git-r3lab.uni.lu/eci/shinyscreen/), MetFrag (https://msbi.ipb-halle.de/MetFrag/), PubChemLite (https://zenodo.org/record/4432124), and MassBank (https://massbank.eu/MassBank/). A total of 94 pharmaceuticals, 88 confirmed at a level 1 confidence (86 of which could be quantified, two compounds too low to be quantified) and six identified at level 2a, were found to be present in Luxembourg rivers. Pharmaceutical TPs (12) were also found at a level 2a confidence. The pharmaceuticals were present at median concentrations up to 214 ng/L, with caffeine having a median concentration of 1424 ng/L. Antihypertensive drugs (15), psychoactive drugs (15), and antimicrobials (eight) were the most detected groups of pharmaceuticals. A spatiotemporal analysis of the data revealed areas with higher concentrations of the pharmaceuticals, as well as differences in pharmaceutical concentrations between 2019 and 2020. The results of this work will help guide activities for improving water management in the country and set baseline data for continuous monitoring and screening efforts, as well as for further open data and software developments. [less ▲]

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See detailRetrospective non-target analysis to support regulatory water monitoring: from masses of interest to recommendations via in silico workflows
Lai, Adelene UL; Singh, Randolph UL; Kovalova, Lubomira et al

in Environmental Sciences Europe (2021), 33(1), 43

Abstract Background Applying non-target analysis (NTA) in regulatory environmental monitoring remains challenging—instead of having exploratory questions, regulators usually already have specific ... [more ▼]

Abstract Background Applying non-target analysis (NTA) in regulatory environmental monitoring remains challenging—instead of having exploratory questions, regulators usually already have specific questions related to environmental protection aims. Additionally, data analysis can seem overwhelming because of the large data volumes and many steps required. This work aimed to establish an open in silico workflow to identify environmental chemical unknowns via retrospective NTA within the scope of a pre-existing Swiss environmental monitoring campaign focusing on industrial chemicals. The research question addressed immediate regulatory priorities: identify pollutants with industrial point sources occurring at the highest intensities over two time points. Samples from 22 wastewater treatment plants obtained in 2018 and measured using liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry were retrospectively analysed by (i) performing peak-picking to identify masses of interest; (ii) prescreening and quality-controlling spectra, and (iii) tentatively identifying priority “known unknown” pollutants by leveraging environmentally relevant chemical information provided by Swiss, Swedish, EU-wide, and American regulators. This regulator-supplied information was incorporated into MetFrag, an in silico identification tool replete with “post-relaunch” features used here. This study’s unique regulatory context posed challenges in data quality and volume that were directly addressed with the prescreening, quality control, and identification workflow developed. Results One confirmed and 21 tentative identifications were achieved, suggesting the presence of compounds as diverse as manufacturing reagents, adhesives, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals in the samples. More importantly, an in-depth interpretation of the results in the context of environmental regulation and actionable next steps are discussed. The prescreening and quality control workflow is openly accessible within the R package Shinyscreen, and adaptable to any (retrospective) analysis requiring automated quality control of mass spectra and non-target identification, with potential applications in environmental and metabolomics analyses. Conclusions NTA in regulatory monitoring is critical for environmental protection, but bottlenecks in data analysis and results interpretation remain. The prescreening and quality control workflow, and interpretation work performed here are crucial steps towards scaling up NTA for environmental monitoring. [less ▲]

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See detailOccurrence and Distribution of Pharmaceuticals and their Transformation Products in Luxembourgish Surface Waters
Singh, Randolph UL; Lai, Adelene UL; Krier, Jessy UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

This pre-print describes the analysis of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in surface water samples collected in Luxembourg from 2019 to 2020. Details of the experimental and computational ... [more ▼]

This pre-print describes the analysis of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in surface water samples collected in Luxembourg from 2019 to 2020. Details of the experimental and computational tools and workflows used are fully described in the manuscript. Links to the suspect lists, codes used, and data files are also provided. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovering Pesticides and their Transformation Products in Luxembourg Waters using Open Cheminformatics Approaches
Krier, Jessy UL; Singh, Randolph UL; Kondic, Todor UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

Abstract The diversity of hundreds of thousands of potential organic pollutants and the lack of (publicly available) information about many of them is a huge challenge for environmental sciences ... [more ▼]

Abstract The diversity of hundreds of thousands of potential organic pollutants and the lack of (publicly available) information about many of them is a huge challenge for environmental sciences, engineering, and regulation. Suspect screening based on high-resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) has enormous potential to help characterize the presence of these chemicals in our environment, enabling the detection of known and newly emerging pollutants, as well as their potential transformation products (TPs). Here, suspect list creation (focusing on pesticides relevant for Luxembourg, incorporating data sources in 4 languages) was coupled to an automated retrieval of related TPs from PubChem based on high confidence suspect hits, to screen for pesticides and their TPs in Luxembourgish river samples. A computational workflow was established to combine LC-HRMS analysis and pre-screening of the suspects (including automated quality control steps), with spectral annotation to determine which pesticides and, in a second step, their related TPs may be present in the samples. The data analysis with Shinyscreen (https://git-r3lab.uni.lu/eci/shinyscreen/), an open source software developed in house, coupled with custom-made scripts, revealed the presence of 162 potential pesticide masses and 135 potential TP masses in the samples. Further identification of these mass matches was performed using the open source MetFrag (https://msbi.ipb-halle.de/MetFrag/). Eventual target analysis of 36 suspects resulted in 31 pesticides and TPs confirmed at Level-1 (highest confidence), and five pesticides and TPs not confirmed due to different retention times. Spatio-temporal analysis of the results showed that TPs and pesticides followed similar trends, with a maximum number of potential detections in July. The highest detections were in the rivers Alzette and Mess and the lowest in the Sûre and Eisch. This study (a) added pesticides, classification information and related TPs into the open domain, (b) developed automated open source retrieval methods - both enhancing FAIRness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) of the data and methods; and (c) will directly support “L’Administration de la Gestion de l’Eau” on further monitoring steps in Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailEmpowering Large Chemical Knowledge Bases for Exposomics: PubChemLite Meets MetFrag
Schymanski, Emma UL; Kondic, Todor UL; Neumann, Steffen et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

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See detailUpdate on NORMAN-SLE / SusDat for NORMAN-CWG-NTS Meeting (17 Nov 2020)
Schymanski, Emma UL

Scientific Conference (2020, November 17)

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See detailDigital Detective Work: Connecting Cheminformatics, Mass Spectrometry and our Environment (analytica Conference)
Schymanski, Emma UL; Bolton, Evan

Scientific Conference (2020, October 20)

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See detailData Science and Environmental Cheminformatics (SanDAL Workshop, Uni Lu)
Schymanski, Emma UL

Presentation (2020, October 13)

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See detailMeasuring the Environmental Exposome (ISES2020)
Schymanski, Emma UL

Scientific Conference (2020, September 21)

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See detailSchadstoffen auf der Spur mit Umweltcheminformatik
Schymanski, Emma UL

Scientific Conference (2020, September 17)

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