After the extensive work that is being done in the areas of genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, the study of metabolites has come of interest in its own right. Metabolites in biological systems give an understanding of the state of the system and provide a powerful tool for the study of disease and other maladies. Several analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry and high-resolution NMR spectroscopy have been used to study metabolites. The data, however, from these techniques remains quite complex. Traditionally, multivariate analyses have been used for such data. These methods however have an underlying assumption that the data is multivariate normal with a constant variance. This is not necessarily the case. It has been shown that a generalized log transformation renders the variance of the data constant effectively making the data more suitable for multivariate analysis. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these transformations on NMR data taken on a set of 18 abalone that were categorized as either being healthy, stunted, or diseased. We show how the transformation makes multivariate classification of the abalone into the healthy, stunted and diseased categories much more effective and gives a tool for identifying potential metabolic biomarkers for disease.
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