An easy way to speed up your BLAST analysis is to search a smaller database targeted to sequences of interest. We’ll describe here a few ways to create such custom databases on the BLAST web pages. For this Quick Tip we’ll use the pages in the Basic BLAST section of the BLAST home page.
BLAST parent databases
Generating a custom database begins with selecting the appropriate parent database. The BLAST Guide provides database descriptions to help with choosing a database. You select the parent in the Database pull-down menu, shown in Figure 1. Selecting the database is really your first opportunity to customize.
Figure 1. The database selection pull-down lists: top panel, nucleotide databases; bottom panel, protein databases
Do you regularly perform PubMed searches to find new articles on your topic of interest?
Would you like to know when new sequence records become available for your gene?
Is it important to be alerted when new bioactivity assays are available with inhibitor data for your enzyme?
With a free My NCBI account, you can easily set up a series of e-mail alerts to notify you of such new information. You can read more about the many other functions of My NCBI.
Here’s how to set up these alerts:
November 2013 marks 25 years since the founding of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
In honor of NCBI’s 25th anniversary, United States Senator Ben Cardin read a statement into the Congressional Record recognizing years of service in providing access to biomedical and genomic information to enhance the world’s science and health.
On November 1st an awards and recognition program was held on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, Maryland to commemorate this occasion.
Tony Hey, Ph.D., Vice President of Microsoft Research, presenting the Jim Gray eScience award to David Lipman, M.D., Director of the NCBI.
At this event, Tony Hey, PhD, Vice President of Microsoft Research, presented NCBI Director David Lipman, MD, with the Jim Gray eScience Award which recognizes researchers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of data-intensive computing in the pursuit of open, supportive, and collaborative research models. Continue reading
It’s been an exciting and productive time since the PubMed Commons beta launch. We’ve learned a great deal, both here working under the hood and from the conversations in social media and blog posts.
We are working on answers to questions that people are asking, via our Twitter account and by revising and expanding information on the PubMed Commons page soon. And we will try out a Twitter chat: so keep your eye out on @PubMedCommons for the announcement.
There are now about 1,000 people signed up in the Commons. Remember, any author in PubMed can join, from anywhere in the world. Check out our step-by-step guide. Once you are in, you can invite others. So please spread the word!
In our previous post we wrote about a new service called PubMed Commons that allows researchers to add comments to individual PubMed records. As we described in that post, PubMed Commons is currently a beta pilot release, and requires interested people to join the system before they can view or add comments. This post will describe how to join PubMed Commons.
NCBI has released a pilot version of a new service in PubMed that allows researchers to post comments on individual PubMed abstracts. Called PubMed Commons, this service is an initiative of the NIH leadership in response to repeated requests by the scientific community for such a forum to be part of PubMed. We hope that PubMed Commons will leverage the social power of the internet to encourage constructive criticism and high quality discussions of scientific issues that will both enhance understanding and provide new avenues of collaboration within the community.
My Bibliography is a component of the My NCBI service and allows authors to create an online collection of their published work. While editing their bibliographies, authors can import citations for their articles directly from PubMed, and the system will automatically check for duplicates and will remove citations imported more than once. However, authors may still end up with duplicates in certain situations, and sometimes it is not obvious how to remove these duplicates. In this post we will describe three situations where duplicates may persist and will discuss ways to remove them.
On a typical day, researchers download about 30 terabytes of data from NCBI in an effort to make discoveries. NCBI began providing online access to data in the early 1990s, starting with the GenBank database of DNA sequences. Over the years we’ve greatly expanded the types and quantity of data available. You can now find on our site descriptions and data from experimental studies such as next-generation sequencing projects, bioactivity assays for small molecules, microarray datasets and genome-wide association studies.
The White House recently recognized these efforts by awarding NCBI Director David J. Lipman with the “Open Science” Champion of Change Award . The scientific community has recognized the benefits of open data. Access to this information serves as a source of both original and supplemental data for exploration and validation [2-4], which improves the power of experimental data  while increasing the speed and decreasing the cost of discovery .
In this post, we summarize three recent cases where researchers used data from an NCBI resource/database to make significant discoveries.
In the July 19, 2013 issue of the journal Science, an interesting article describes the discovery and characterization of two “giant” viruses that are proposed to comprise the first members of the “Pandoravirus” genus.
Nadege Philippe and co-workers obtained the viruses from sediment samples in Chile and Australia and found that they have no morphological resemblance to any previously defined virus families. The investigators isolated the genomes of these viruses and sequenced them using a variety of NextGen methodologies. They then assembled the reads into contigs and characterized them using various sequence similarity algorithms (including NCBI’s BLAST and CD-Search). Interestingly, while related to each other, the genomes were not similar to those of any other organism or virus. Additionally, 93% of protein-coding sequences had no recognizable homologs.
Are you trying to find out if your article complies with the NIH Public Access policy and/or find a PubMed Central ID (PMCID) for your article? If so, this post describes a simple method for finding the PMCID for an article and thereby verifying Public Access compliance.
First, let’s start with a bit of background. To comply with the NIH Public Access Policy, you need to make sure that your peer-reviewed articles that resulted from NIH funding (full or partial) and that were accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008 are available in the PubMed Central (PMC) database with a PMCID. Please be aware that PMC is not the same as PubMed. PMC is NCBI’s full-text digital archive, while PubMed contains only citations and abstracts. It is not enough for your citation to be available in PubMed with a PubMed ID (PMID); you must have a PMCID to satisfy NIH Public Access policy.
To check that your article has a PMCID and is compliant, proceed as follows: