By Antony Williams
EPA has released the Interactive Chemical Safety for Sustainability Chemistry Dashboard—or the iCSS Chemistry Dashboard—a new web application to support scientists in chemical research.
The dashboard is a new app in the armory of computational toxicologists everywhere. It provides data on over 700,000 chemicals including access to nearly 10,000,000 experimental and predicted chemical properties via a website search. The data are downloadable at the click of a button and are even viewable on your smartphone or tablet. The data and an associated collection of additional resources have been brought together in one application.
The dashboard provides access to the rich and highly curated content that is contained within the Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity Database (DSSTox) which was first released in 2002. The data contained within the DSSTox database has been expanded over the years and now is available via an intuitive website for searching.
For this project, we focused our efforts on building a web application that allows the public to easily search our chemistry data. A number of dashboards and web applications have been built over the years including the Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource, the ToxCast dashboard, and the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program dashboard. We were able to take advantage of this previous work and improve the user experience for navigating the data. The resulting web application was released on April 1st, no joke, for beta testing in the real world and to gather initial feedback from the community.
The new chemistry dashboard has been available for only a couple of months and is already garnering positive feedback from its users. New data, functionality, and capabilities are in development to provide regular updates to the application. Much like with Wikipedia’s “crowdsourced feedback”, the application’s users are able to inform us of any issues they see in the data at the individual chemical level to improve the data for all users. As crowdsourced collaboration is increasingly used in the curation of chemistry data, we expect the iCSS Chemistry Dashboard to become one of the primary platforms for environmental chemists and computational toxicologists around the world and form the chemistry foundation for EPA’s efforts in 21st century toxicology.
About the Author: Antony (Tony) Williams is a computational chemist in the National Center for Computational Toxicology and the project leader for the iCSS Chemistry Dashboard. He is an analytical scientist and cheminformatician by training and was one of the original founders for the ChemSpider website. He is widely published with over 150 publications and books/book chapters.