The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) datasets can be used to create a tool for input of queries to obtain inferred relationships between genes, chemicals and diseases and the significance of the inferences. The information given on this dataset (on research publications) is part of the output resulting when looking for inferences that have direct evidence.
Chemicals are among the main environmental factors that influence health and the way these can cause disease is not totally understood. The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database purpose is to provide a tool to generate new hypotheses on the mechanism of chemicals in the development of diseases by collecting curated data reported in the scientific literature on chemicals, genes and diseases and making inferences on the relationships of these three elements. This is accomplished through transitive inference, which happens when for example a chemical and a disease share interactions with one or more genes, thus inferring that there is a relationship between the chemical and the disease linked to a process or product of the particular genes, with this information could be inferred the mechanism of action of the chemical upon the gene to produce the disease, the genes linked to the disease, the physiopathology of the disease and other inferences. These inferences could be given in other directions, for example, a gene and a disease could share the same group of chemicals; also the inferences could have direct evidence in which there are published research with evidence of the relationship, while other inferences don’t have direct evidence in the literature and can be used to create new testable hypothesis about the mechanism of disease, initiate new research on the relationship and potentially predict disease treatment and prevention.