September 11 Webinar: A beginner’s guide to genes and sequences at NCBI


On Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 12 PM, NCBI staff will present a webinar for people with limited experience working with gene and sequence information. You will learn about the kinds of data available for genes and sequences, how to select the most informative records, and how to find related genes and sequences using pre-computed information and the BLAST sequence search service.

  • Date and time: Wed, Sep 11, 2019 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EDT
  • Register

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 UniGene web pages are now retired


As we previously announced,  we planned to retire the UniGene web pages at the end of July, 2019.   All UniGene pages now redirect to this post. We have also removed links to UniGene from the NCBI home page and other resources.

Although the web pages are no longer available, you will still be able to download the final UniGene builds as static content from the FTP site.  You will also be able to match UniGene cluster numbers to Gene records by searching Gene with UniGene cluster numbers. For best results, restrict to the “UniGene Cluster Number” field rather than all fields in Gene.  For example, a search with Mm.2108[UniGene Cluster Number] finds the mouse  transthyretin Gene record (Ttr).  You can use the advanced search page to help construct these searches. Keep in mind that the Gene record contains selected Reference Sequences and GenBank mRNA sequences rather than the larger set of expressed sequences in the UniGene cluster.

Please write to us with any comments, concerns, or if you need help using UniGene data.

A new way to find an expanded set of similar genes


We recently showed you a new a way to search for and view sets of orthologous genes  from vertebrates. You can now get an additional set of search results that we are calling similar genes.  These are related through protein architecture to the orthologous gene set and include genes from all metazoans and selected plant, fungal, and protist species. You can quickly find related genes within a species, compare them to those from other annotated metazoan genomes, and have access to other useful gene resources. To find a set of similar genes, enter a gene symbol or select the gene symbol + orthologs option from the selections menu.

For example if you search for ‘AGO2 orthologs‘,  in addition to the  link to orthologs from vertebrates, you’ll get a link to a set of similar genes (Genes with similar protein architectures) across a broad evolutionary spectrum that includes genes from invertebrates, fungi, and green plants (Figure 1).

AGO2_Fig1Figure 1.  Genes with similar protein architectures to AGO2. The original search was AGO2 orthologs, which brings up the suggestion box with the links to similar genes as well as the AGO2 vertebrate orthologs. The similar genes include entries from a broad taxonomic range of eukaryotic organisms.

If you search for ‘GH1‘, you’ll get a link to similar genes that includes members of the growth hormone family that are not part of NCBI’s vertebrate ortholog set.

GH1_Fig2.pngFigure 2. The human subset of genes with similar protein architectures to GH1 showing other members (paralogs) of the GH1 gene family (GH2, CSH1, CSH2, CSHL1). These are not included in the ortholog set.

Try out the  following searches and follow the links to the Genes with similar protein architectures

Please  let us know what you think!

Genome context graphic now in virus search results


We have a new and improved search experience for viral genes from select human pathogens. When you search  for a virus such as HIV-1 (more examples below),  you now get an interactive graphical representation of the viral genome where you can see all the annotated viral proteins in context. Clicking on the gene / protein objects allows you to access sequences, publications, and analysis tools for the selected protein. This new feature is designed to help you quickly find information relevant to your research on clinically important viruses.Virus_searchFigure 1. Top: The virus genome graphic result for a search with HIV-1 with access to analysis tools, downloads, and relevant results in the Genome and Virus resources. Bottom: The result obtained by clicking the env gene graphic, which provides links to protein and nucleotide sequences, the literature, analysis tools, and downloads.

Try it out using the following example searches and  let us know what you think!

Searching for orthologous genes at NCBI


NCBI is testing a new way to find and retrieve orthologous vertebrate genes. To find orthologs enter a gene symbol (e.g. RAG1) or a gene symbol combined with a taxonomic group (e.g. primate RAG1). Select the matching entry from the suggestions menu or you can select the orthologs option (e.g. Rag1 orthologs) to see all orthologs. Your search will return a results link to the set of orthologs provided by NCBI’s Gene resource. Click on the results link to see information for that ortholog group (Figure 1).

search

Figure 1.  Search  for Rag1 orthologs showing the link to the set of RAG1 genes from vertebrates.

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Join NCBI at PAG in San Diego, January 12–16, 2019


Next week, NCBI staff will attend the Plant and Animal Genome (PAG) Conference. We have several activities planned, including 1 booth (#223), 4 workshops, 1 talk and 2 posters.

Read on to learn more about what you can look forward to if you’re attending PAG this year. (Note: The listed times are Pacific time.)

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Autosuggest comes to Gene, Nucleotide and other databases


If you’ve been searching in Gene, Nucleotide, Protein, Genome or Assembly databases, you’ve probably noticed the new search experience we introduced in September to interpret several common language searches and offer improved results. We’re excited to announce we’ve added as-you-type suggestions to the search bar in these databases.

Here’s a peek at the new menu in the NCBI Gene database.

"human" is typed in the search box and a drop-down menu shows the most popular results

Figure 1. Typing into the search box brings up automatic suggestions of the most popular queries.

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November 14 Webinar: Variant Interpretation using NCBI Resources


Next Wednesday, November 14, 2018, NCBI staff will show you how to use NCBI’s genome browsers and other resources to interpret variants. The graphical displays of Genome Data Viewer (GDV) and Variation Viewer offer an interactive experience that allows you to explore NCBI’s rich collection of annotations, datasets and literature for deciphering your variant-associated data. In this presentation, we’ll step through case studies and show you how to quickly display relevant NCBI track sets — including the new RefSeq Functional Elements track, upload a file or remotely-hosted dataset and display these as a track, and use browser tracks to identify known variants, then assess variant functional and clinical significance and allele frequency. You will also learn how to navigate from the browsers to NCBI resources such as ClinVar, dbSNP and PubMed, for additional variant information.

Date and time: Wed, Nov 14, 2018 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM EDT

Register

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.

 

 

Matched Annotation by NCBI and EMBL-EBI (MANE): a new joint venture to define a set of representative transcripts for human protein-coding genes


The RefSeq project at the NCBI and the Ensembl/GENCODE project at EMBL-EBI have provided independent high-quality human reference gene datasets to biologists since the sequencing of the human genome.

Now we’re joining together on an exciting new project we’re calling Matched Annotation from the NCBI and EMBL-EBI or MANE, to provide a matched set of well-supported transcripts for human protein-coding genes and define one representative transcript for each gene. Both RefSeq and Ensembl will continue to provide a rich set of alternate transcripts per gene.

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Improved Search Now Available Across NCBI Databases


Earlier this year, we announced the release of a new and improved search feature that interprets plain language to give better results for common searches. This feature, originally developed in NCBI Labs and later released on the NCBI All Databases search, is now available across several NCBI resources: Nucleotide, Protein, Gene, Genome, and Assembly. Whether you are searching for a specific gene or for a whole genome, you will now retrieve NCBI’s best results regardless of the database  you search.

The image below shows the results for a search for human INS in the Nucleotide database. Even though this is a Nucleotide search, the results include relevant information from Gene, Protein, Taxonomy,  plus links to the NCBI reference sequences (RefSeq) as well as access to BLAST and the insulin gene region in NCBI’s genome browser, the Genome Data Viewer.KIS_nuccore_smallFigure 1.  The new natural language search result in the Nucleotide database from a search for human INS.

Try out this new search capability and let us know what you think. And keep visiting the NCBI Labs search page to try our latest experiments, which we’ll also announce here on NCBI Insights.