May 16 webinar: Improved Standalone BLAST database and programs: now with taxonomic information


Next Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we’ll show you how to download and use the latest standalone BLAST databases, dbv5. You’ll learn how to use BLASTdbv5 and the new BLAST programs to limit searches to taxonomic groups and to retrieve sequences from the database by taxonomy.

Date and time: Wed, May 16, 2018 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EDT

Register here: https://bit.ly/2qW7LLy

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about attending the webinar. A few days after the live presentation, you can view the recording on the NCBI YouTube channel. You can learn about future webinars on the Webinars and Courses page.

Human annotation release 109 for GRCh38.p12 is available in RefSeq


You can now download human annotation release 109 on FTP or explore it in the Genome Data Viewer, in the Gene database, and with BLAST.

Highlights in release 109:

  • A total of 20,203 protein-coding genes and 17,871 non-coding genes were annotated.
  • The number of annotated curated transcripts increased by 17% and genes with two or more curated alternative variants increased by 8%.
  • The annotation includes 6,862 features and 2,075 GeneIDs for non-genic functional elements, such as regulatory regions and known structural elements. For example, see the opsin locus control region (OPSIN-LCR).

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BLAST is transitioning to accession.version-based databases


As you may have read in previous posts, NCBI is phasing out sequence GIs and transitioning to accession.version identifiers.  To help you prepare for this transition, we created sample BLAST databases that will help you make code changes to your programs and workflows for the switch to accession identifiers.

The sample databases, env_nr_v5 and tsa_nr_v5, are on FTP.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Help Desk.

April 11 webinar: Getting the most out of web BLAST tabular format


Next Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 12:00PM EDT, we will present a webinar that will help you enhance and expand your tabular saved BLAST results with basic Unix tools and the NCBI EDirect suite of programs. You will see how to add useful information to tabular format results like taxonomy, sequence titles, and links to sequence records and publications.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about attending the webinar. A few days after the live presentation, you can view the recording on the NCBI YouTube channel. You can learn about future webinars on the Webinars and Courses page.

The NCBI web BLAST service has many useful download formats, including the traditional pairwise output, tabular formats and highly structured formats. These formats allow you to easily save your BLAST results for later processing, editing and annotating.

5 NCBI articles in 2018 Nucleic Acids Research database issue


The 2018 Nucleic Acids Research database issue features several papers from NCBI staff that cover the status and future of databases including CCDS, ClinVar, GenBank and RefSeq. These papers are also available on PubMed. To read an article, click on the PMID number listed below.

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GenBank release 223.0 is available via FTP, Entrez and BLAST


GenBank release 223.0 (12/15/2017) has 206,293,625 traditional records (including non-bulk-oriented TSA) containing 249,722,163,594 base pairs of sequence data. In addition, there are 551,063,065 WGS records containing 2,466,098,053,327 base pairs of sequence data, 201,559,502 TSA records containing 181,394,660,188 base pairs of sequence data, and 12,695,198 TLS records containing 4,458,042,616 base pairs of sequence data.

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BLAST+ 2.7.1 now available


In the new version (2.7.1) of the BLAST+ executables, blastdbcmd can look up taxonomic names (e.g., scientific or common name) faster. We have also made some low-level improvement that allow BLAST to multithread more efficiently, especially when available memory is not sufficient for the database.

Note: Some LINUX and MacOSX users may find that they need to increase the number of open file descriptors allowed for a process. The number of allowed open file descriptors can be easily changed with “ulimit -n” (under bash). We suggest setting the limit to at least 1024.

See the BLAST+ release notes for more information.

November 1 webinar: Introducing the Genome Data Viewer (GDV)


On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, we will present a webinar on GDV, NCBI’s full-featured genome browser. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to explore and analyze sequences and annotations for eukaryotic RefSeq genome assemblies. We’ll show you how to:

  • Search across the entire assembly for genes, products and other markers or jump to a specific position or range
  • Display any of seven preselected track sets highlighting various aspects of the assembly or create and load your own custom track sets from your NCBI account.
  • Load and display submitted alignment data from NCBI’s GEO or SRA.
  • Upload your own annotation and variant data
  • Display BLAST or Primer-BLAST results on the assembly in the browser.

Date and time: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 12:00-12:30PM EDT

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about attending the webinar. After the live presentation, the webinar will be uploaded to the NCBI YouTube channel. You can learn about future webinars on the Webinars and Courses page.