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1.  The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2002;30(1):21-26.
The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (aka EMBL-Bank; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl/) incorporates, organises and distributes nucleotide sequences from all available public sources. EMBL-Bank is located and maintained at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) near Cambridge, UK. In an international collaboration with DDBJ (Japan) and GenBank (USA), data are exchanged amongst the collaborating databases on a daily basis. Major contributors to the EMBL database are individual scientists and genome project groups. Webin is the preferred web-based submission system for individual submitters, whilst automatic procedures allow incorporation of sequence data from large-scale genome sequencing centres and from the European Patent Office (EPO). Database releases are produced quarterly. Network services allow free access to the most up-to-date data collection via FTP, email and World Wide Web interfaces. EBI’s Sequence Retrieval System (SRS), a network browser for databanks in molecular biology, integrates and links the main nucleotide and protein databases plus many other specialized databases. For sequence similarity searching, a variety of tools (e.g. Blitz, Fasta, BLAST) are available which allow external users to compare their own sequences against the latest data in the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database and SWISS-PROT. All resources can be accessed via the EBI home page at http://www.ebi.ac.uk.
PMCID: PMC99098  PMID: 11752244
2.  The EMBL-EBI bioinformatics web and programmatic tools framework 
Nucleic Acids Research  2015;43(Web Server issue):W580-W584.
Since 2009 the EMBL-EBI Job Dispatcher framework has provided free access to a range of mainstream sequence analysis applications. These include sequence similarity search services (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/sss/) such as BLAST, FASTA and PSI-Search, multiple sequence alignment tools (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/msa/) such as Clustal Omega, MAFFT and T-Coffee, and other sequence analysis tools (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/pfa/) such as InterProScan. Through these services users can search mainstream sequence databases such as ENA, UniProt and Ensembl Genomes, utilising a uniform web interface or systematically through Web Services interfaces (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/webservices/) using common programming languages, and obtain enriched results with novel visualisations. Integration with EBI Search (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ebisearch/) and the dbfetch retrieval service (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/dbfetch/) further expands the usefulness of the framework. New tools and updates such as NCBI BLAST+, InterProScan 5 and PfamScan, new categories such as RNA analysis tools (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/rna/), new databases such as ENA non-coding, WormBase ParaSite, Pfam and Rfam, and new workflow methods, together with the retirement of depreciated services, ensure that the framework remains relevant to today's biological community.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkv279
PMCID: PMC4489272  PMID: 25845596
3.  The EMBL nucleotide sequence database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(1):17-21.
The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl/) is maintained at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in an international collaboration with the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) and GenBank at the NCBI (USA). Data is exchanged amongst the collaborating databases on a daily basis. The major contributors to the EMBL database are individual authors and genome project groups. Webin is the preferred web-based submission system for individual submitters, whilst automatic procedures allow incorporation of sequence data from large-scale genome sequencing centres and from the European Patent Office (EPO). Database releases are produced quarterly. Network services allow free access to the most up-to-date data collection via ftp, email and World Wide Web interfaces. EBI’s Sequence Retrieval System (SRS), a network browser for databanks in molecular biology, integrates and links the main nucleotide and protein databases plus many specialized databases. For sequence similarity searching a variety of tools (e.g. Blitz, Fasta, BLAST) are available which allow external users to compare their own sequences against the latest data in the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database and SWISS-PROT.
PMCID: PMC29766  PMID: 11125039
4.  The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2000;28(1):19-23.
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Nucleotide Sequence Database (http://www.ebi.ac. uk/embl/index.html ) is maintained at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in an international collaboration with the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) and GenBank (USA). Data is exchanged amongst the collaborative databases on a daily basis. The major contributors to the EMBL database are individual authors and genome project groups. WEBIN is the preferred web-based submission system for individual submitters, whilst automatic procedures allow incorporation of sequence data from large-scale genome sequencing centres and from the European Patent Office (EPO). Database releases are produced quarterly. Network services allow free access to the most up-to-date data collection via Internet and WWW interfaces. EBI’s Sequence Retrieval System (SRS) is a network browser for databanks in molecular biology, integrating and linking the main nucleotide and protein databases plus many specialised databases. For sequence similarity searching a variety of tools (e.g., BLITZ, FASTA, BLAST) are available which allow external users to compare their own sequences against the most currently available data in the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database and SWISS-PROT.
PMCID: PMC102461  PMID: 10592171
5.  Analysis Tool Web Services from the EMBL-EBI 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;41(Web Server issue):W597-W600.
Since 2004 the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) has provided access to a wide range of databases and analysis tools via Web Services interfaces. This comprises services to search across the databases available from the EMBL-EBI and to explore the network of cross-references present in the data (e.g. EB-eye), services to retrieve entry data in various data formats and to access the data in specific fields (e.g. dbfetch), and analysis tool services, for example, sequence similarity search (e.g. FASTA and NCBI BLAST), multiple sequence alignment (e.g. Clustal Omega and MUSCLE), pairwise sequence alignment and protein functional analysis (e.g. InterProScan and Phobius). The REST/SOAP Web Services (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/webservices/) interfaces to these databases and tools allow their integration into other tools, applications, web sites, pipeline processes and analytical workflows. To get users started using the Web Services, sample clients are provided covering a range of programming languages and popular Web Service tool kits, and a brief guide to Web Services technologies, including a set of tutorials, is available for those wishing to learn more and develop their own clients. Users of the Web Services are informed of improvements and updates via a range of methods.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt376
PMCID: PMC3692137  PMID: 23671338
6.  maxdLoad2 and maxdBrowse: standards-compliant tools for microarray experimental annotation, data management and dissemination 
BMC Bioinformatics  2005;6:264.
Background
maxdLoad2 is a relational database schema and Java® application for microarray experimental annotation and storage. It is compliant with all standards for microarray meta-data capture; including the specification of what data should be recorded, extensive use of standard ontologies and support for data exchange formats. The output from maxdLoad2 is of a form acceptable for submission to the ArrayExpress microarray repository at the European Bioinformatics Institute. maxdBrowse is a PHP web-application that makes contents of maxdLoad2 databases accessible via web-browser, the command-line and web-service environments. It thus acts as both a dissemination and data-mining tool.
Results
maxdLoad2 presents an easy-to-use interface to an underlying relational database and provides a full complement of facilities for browsing, searching and editing. There is a tree-based visualization of data connectivity and the ability to explore the links between any pair of data elements, irrespective of how many intermediate links lie between them. Its principle novel features are:
• the flexibility of the meta-data that can be captured,
• the tools provided for importing data from spreadsheets and other tabular representations,
• the tools provided for the automatic creation of structured documents,
• the ability to browse and access the data via web and web-services interfaces.
Within maxdLoad2 it is very straightforward to customise the meta-data that is being captured or change the definitions of the meta-data. These meta-data definitions are stored within the database itself allowing client software to connect properly to a modified database without having to be specially configured. The meta-data definitions (configuration file) can also be centralized allowing changes made in response to revisions of standards or terminologies to be propagated to clients without user intervention.
maxdBrowse is hosted on a web-server and presents multiple interfaces to the contents of maxd databases. maxdBrowse emulates many of the browse and search features available in the maxdLoad2 application via a web-browser. This allows users who are not familiar with maxdLoad2 to browse and export microarray data from the database for their own analysis. The same browse and search features are also available via command-line and SOAP server interfaces. This both enables scripting of data export for use embedded in data repositories and analysis environments, and allows access to the maxd databases via web-service architectures.
Conclusion
maxdLoad2 and maxdBrowse are portable and compatible with all common operating systems and major database servers. They provide a powerful, flexible package for annotation of microarray experiments and a convenient dissemination environment. They are available for download and open sourced under the Artistic License.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-6-264
PMCID: PMC1298287  PMID: 16269077
7.  The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database: major new developments 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(1):17-22.
The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl/) incorporates, organizes and distributes nucleotide sequences from all available public sources. The database is located and maintained at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) near Cambridge, UK. In an international collaboration with DDBJ (Japan) and GenBank (USA), data are exchanged amongst the collaborating databases on a daily basis to achieve optimal synchronization. Webin is the preferred web-based submission system for individual submitters, while automatic procedures allow incorporation of sequence data from large-scale genome sequencing centres and from the European Patent Office (EPO). Database releases are produced quarterly. Network services allow free access to the most up-to-date data collection via FTP, Email and World Wide Web interfaces. EBI's Sequence Retrieval System (SRS) integrates and links the main nucleotide and protein databases plus many other specialized molecular biology databases. For sequence similarity searching, a variety of tools (e.g. Fasta, BLAST) are available which allow external users to compare their own sequences against the latest data in the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database and SWISS-PROT. All resources can be accessed via the EBI home page at http://www.ebi.ac.uk.
PMCID: PMC165468  PMID: 12519939
8.  The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1999;27(1):18-24.
The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl.html) constitutes Europe's primary nucleotide sequence resource. Main sources for DNA and RNA sequences are direct submissions from individual researchers, genome sequencing projects and patent applications. While automatic procedures allow incorporation of sequence data from large-scale genome sequencing centres and from the European Patent Office (EPO), the preferred submission tool for individual submitters is Webin (WWW). Through all stages, dataflow is monitored by EBI biologists communicating with the sequencing groups. In collaboration with DDBJ and GenBank the database is produced, maintained and distributed at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). Database releases are produced quarterly and are distributed on CD-ROM. Network services allow access to the most up-to-date data collection via Internet and World Wide Web interface. EBI's Sequence Retrieval System (SRS) is a Network Browser for Databanks in Molecular Biology, integrating and linking the main nucleotide and protein databases, plus many specialised databases. For sequence similarity searching a variety of tools (e.g. Blitz, Fasta, Blast etc) are available for external users to compare their own sequences against the most currently available data in the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database and SWISS-PROT.
PMCID: PMC148088  PMID: 9847133
9.  A new bioinformatics analysis tools framework at EMBL–EBI 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(Web Server issue):W695-W699.
The EMBL-EBI provides access to various mainstream sequence analysis applications. These include sequence similarity search services such as BLAST, FASTA, InterProScan and multiple sequence alignment tools such as ClustalW, T-Coffee and MUSCLE. Through the sequence similarity search services, the users can search mainstream sequence databases such as EMBL-Bank and UniProt, and more than 2000 completed genomes and proteomes. We present here a new framework aimed at both novice as well as expert users that exposes novel methods of obtaining annotations and visualizing sequence analysis results through one uniform and consistent interface. These services are available over the web and via Web Services interfaces for users who require systematic access or want to interface with customized pipe-lines and workflows using common programming languages. The framework features novel result visualizations and integration of domain and functional predictions for protein database searches. It is available at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/sss for sequence similarity searches and at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/msa for multiple sequence alignments.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq313
PMCID: PMC2896090  PMID: 20439314
10.  The Annotation-enriched non-redundant patent sequence databases 
The EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) offers public access to patent sequence data, providing a valuable service to the intellectual property and scientific communities. The non-redundant (NR) patent sequence databases comprise two-level nucleotide and protein sequence clusters (NRNL1, NRNL2, NRPL1 and NRPL2) based on sequence identity (level-1) and patent family (level-2). Annotation from the source entries in these databases is merged and enhanced with additional information from the patent literature and biological context. Corrections in patent publication numbers, kind-codes and patent equivalents significantly improve the data quality. Data are available through various user interfaces including web browser, downloads via FTP, SRS, Dbfetch and EBI-Search. Sequence similarity/homology searches against the databases are available using BLAST, FASTA and PSI-Search. In this article, we describe the data collection and annotation and also outline major changes and improvements introduced since 2009. Apart from data growth, these changes include additional annotation for singleton clusters, the identifier versioning for tracking entry change and the entry mappings between the two-level databases.
Database URL: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/patentdata/nr/
doi:10.1093/database/bat005
PMCID: PMC3568390  PMID: 23396323
11.  The BioExtract Server: a web-based bioinformatic workflow platform 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;39(Web Server issue):W528-W532.
The BioExtract Server (bioextract.org) is an open, web-based system designed to aid researchers in the analysis of genomic data by providing a platform for the creation of bioinformatic workflows. Scientific workflows are created within the system by recording tasks performed by the user. These tasks may include querying multiple, distributed data sources, saving query results as searchable data extracts, and executing local and web-accessible analytic tools. The series of recorded tasks can then be saved as a reproducible, sharable workflow available for subsequent execution with the original or modified inputs and parameter settings. Integrated data resources include interfaces to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) nucleotide and protein databases, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-Bank) non-redundant nucleotide database, the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt), and the UniProt Reference Clusters (UniRef) database. The system offers access to numerous preinstalled, curated analytic tools and also provides researchers with the option of selecting computational tools from a large list of web services including the European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite (EMBOSS), BioMoby, and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). The system further allows users to integrate local command line tools residing on their own computers through a client-side Java applet.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkr286
PMCID: PMC3125737  PMID: 21546552
12.  The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(Database issue):D27-D30.
The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl/), maintained at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), incorporates, organizes and distributes nucleotide sequences from public sources. The database is a part of an international collaboration with DDBJ (Japan) and GenBank (USA). Data are exchanged between the collaborating databases on a daily basis to achieve optimal synchrony. The web-based tool, Webin, is the preferred system for individual submission of nucleotide sequences, including Third Party Annotation (TPA) and alignment data. Automatic submission procedures are used for submission of data from large-scale genome sequencing centres and from the European Patent Office. Database releases are produced quarterly. The latest data collection can be accessed via FTP, email and WWW interfaces. The EBI’s Sequence Retrieval System (SRS) integrates and links the main nucleotide and protein databases as well as many other specialist molecular biology databases. For sequence similarity searching, a variety of tools (e.g. FASTA and BLAST) are available that allow external users to compare their own sequences against the data in the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database, the complete genomic component subsection of the database, the WGS data sets and other databases. All available resources can be accessed via the EBI home page at http://www.ebi.ac.uk.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkh120
PMCID: PMC308854  PMID: 14681351
13.  A RESTful API for Accessing Microbial Community Data for MG-RAST 
PLoS Computational Biology  2015;11(1):e1004008.
Metagenomic sequencing has produced significant amounts of data in recent years. For example, as of summer 2013, MG-RAST has been used to annotate over 110,000 data sets totaling over 43 Terabases. With metagenomic sequencing finding even wider adoption in the scientific community, the existing web-based analysis tools and infrastructure in MG-RAST provide limited capability for data retrieval and analysis, such as comparative analysis between multiple data sets. Moreover, although the system provides many analysis tools, it is not comprehensive. By opening MG-RAST up via a web services API (application programmers interface) we have greatly expanded access to MG-RAST data, as well as provided a mechanism for the use of third-party analysis tools with MG-RAST data. This RESTful API makes all data and data objects created by the MG-RAST pipeline accessible as JSON objects. As part of the DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase project (KBase, http://kbase.us) we have implemented a web services API for MG-RAST. This API complements the existing MG-RAST web interface and constitutes the basis of KBase's microbial community capabilities. In addition, the API exposes a comprehensive collection of data to programmers. This API, which uses a RESTful (Representational State Transfer) implementation, is compatible with most programming environments and should be easy to use for end users and third parties. It provides comprehensive access to sequence data, quality control results, annotations, and many other data types. Where feasible, we have used standards to expose data and metadata. Code examples are provided in a number of languages both to show the versatility of the API and to provide a starting point for users. We present an API that exposes the data in MG-RAST for consumption by our users, greatly enhancing the utility of the MG-RAST service.
Author Summary
Metagenomic sequencing has produced significant amounts of data in recent years. For example, as of summer 2013, the MG-RAST metagenomics analysis system has been used to annotate over 110,000 data sets totaling over 43 Terabases. With metagenomic sequencing finding even wider adoption in the scientific community, the existing web-based analysis tools and infrastructure in MG-RAST provide limited capability for comparative analysis (i.e., number of data sets). Moreover, although the system provides many analysis tools, it is not comprehensive. By opening MG-RAST up via a web services API (application programmers interface) we have enabled a programmatic way for others to use their bioinformatics tools with MG-RAST data.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004008
PMCID: PMC4287624  PMID: 25569221
14.  Using EMBL-EBI services via Web interface and programmatically via Web Services 
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) provides access to a wide range of databases and analysis tools that are of key importance in bioinformatics. As well as providing Web interfaces to these resources, Web Services are available using SOAP and REST protocols that enable programmatic access to our resources and allow their integration into other applications and analytical workflows.
This unit describes the various options available to a typical researcher or bioinformatician who wishes to use our resources via Web interface or programmatically via a range of programming languages.
doi:10.1002/0471250953.bi0312s48
PMCID: PMC4312015  PMID: 25501941
Web Services; Programmatic access; SOAP; REST; analytical pipelines; workflows
15.  The InterPro BioMart: federated query and web service access to the InterPro Resource 
The InterPro BioMart provides users with query-optimized access to predictions of family classification, protein domains and functional sites, based on a broad spectrum of integrated computational models (‘signatures’) that are generated by the InterPro member databases: Gene3D, HAMAP, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. These predictions are provided for all protein sequences from both the UniProt Knowledge Base and the UniParc protein sequence archive. The InterPro BioMart is supplementary to the primary InterPro web interface (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro), providing a web service and the ability to build complex, custom queries that can efficiently return thousands of rows of data in a variety of formats. This article describes the information available from the InterPro BioMart and illustrates its utility with examples of how to build queries that return useful biological information.
Database URL: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/biomart/martview.
doi:10.1093/database/bar033
PMCID: PMC3170169  PMID: 21785143
16.  Accessing the SEED Genome Databases via Web Services API: Tools for Programmers 
BMC Bioinformatics  2010;11:319.
Background
The SEED integrates many publicly available genome sequences into a single resource. The database contains accurate and up-to-date annotations based on the subsystems concept that leverages clustering between genomes and other clues to accurately and efficiently annotate microbial genomes. The backend is used as the foundation for many genome annotation tools, such as the Rapid Annotation using Subsystems Technology (RAST) server for whole genome annotation, the metagenomics RAST server for random community genome annotations, and the annotation clearinghouse for exchanging annotations from different resources. In addition to a web user interface, the SEED also provides Web services based API for programmatic access to the data in the SEED, allowing the development of third-party tools and mash-ups.
Results
The currently exposed Web services encompass over forty different methods for accessing data related to microbial genome annotations. The Web services provide comprehensive access to the database back end, allowing any programmer access to the most consistent and accurate genome annotations available. The Web services are deployed using a platform independent service-oriented approach that allows the user to choose the most suitable programming platform for their application. Example code demonstrate that Web services can be used to access the SEED using common bioinformatics programming languages such as Perl, Python, and Java.
Conclusions
We present a novel approach to access the SEED database. Using Web services, a robust API for access to genomics data is provided, without requiring large volume downloads all at once. The API ensures timely access to the most current datasets available, including the new genomes as soon as they come online.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-319
PMCID: PMC2900279  PMID: 20546611
17.  SeqHound: biological sequence and structure database as a platform for bioinformatics research 
BMC Bioinformatics  2002;3:32.
Background
SeqHound has been developed as an integrated biological sequence, taxonomy, annotation and 3-D structure database system. It provides a high-performance server platform for bioinformatics research in a locally-hosted environment.
Results
SeqHound is based on the National Center for Biotechnology Information data model and programming tools. It offers daily updated contents of all Entrez sequence databases in addition to 3-D structural data and information about sequence redundancies, sequence neighbours, taxonomy, complete genomes, functional annotation including Gene Ontology terms and literature links to PubMed. SeqHound is accessible via a web server through a Perl, C or C++ remote API or an optimized local API. It provides functionality necessary to retrieve specialized subsets of sequences, structures and structural domains. Sequences may be retrieved in FASTA, GenBank, ASN.1 and XML formats. Structures are available in ASN.1, XML and PDB formats. Emphasis has been placed on complete genomes, taxonomy, domain and functional annotation as well as 3-D structural functionality in the API, while fielded text indexing functionality remains under development. SeqHound also offers a streamlined WWW interface for simple web-user queries.
Conclusions
The system has proven useful in several published bioinformatics projects such as the BIND database and offers a cost-effective infrastructure for research. SeqHound will continue to develop and be provided as a service of the Blueprint Initiative at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. The source code and examples are available under the terms of the GNU public license at the Sourceforge site http://sourceforge.net/projects/slritools/ in the SLRI Toolkit.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-3-32
PMCID: PMC138791  PMID: 12401134
sequence database; structure database; local database resource
18.  Opal web services for biomedical applications 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(Web Server issue):W724-W731.
Biomedical applications have become increasingly complex, and they often require large-scale high-performance computing resources with a large number of processors and memory. The complexity of application deployment and the advances in cluster, grid and cloud computing require new modes of support for biomedical research. Scientific Software as a Service (sSaaS) enables scalable and transparent access to biomedical applications through simple standards-based Web interfaces. Towards this end, we built a production web server (http://ws.nbcr.net) in August 2007 to support the bioinformatics application called MEME. The server has grown since to include docking analysis with AutoDock and AutoDock Vina, electrostatic calculations using PDB2PQR and APBS, and off-target analysis using SMAP. All the applications on the servers are powered by Opal, a toolkit that allows users to wrap scientific applications easily as web services without any modification to the scientific codes, by writing simple XML configuration files. Opal allows both web forms-based access and programmatic access of all our applications. The Opal toolkit currently supports SOAP-based Web service access to a number of popular applications from the National Biomedical Computation Resource (NBCR) and affiliated collaborative and service projects. In addition, Opal’s programmatic access capability allows our applications to be accessed through many workflow tools, including Vision, Kepler, Nimrod/K and VisTrails. From mid-August 2007 to the end of 2009, we have successfully executed 239 814 jobs. The number of successfully executed jobs more than doubled from 205 to 411 per day between 2008 and 2009. The Opal-enabled service model is useful for a wide range of applications. It provides for interoperation with other applications with Web Service interfaces, and allows application developers to focus on the scientific tool and workflow development. Web server availability: http://ws.nbcr.net.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq503
PMCID: PMC2896135  PMID: 20529877
19.  MyHits: a new interactive resource for protein annotation and domain identification 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(Web Server issue):W332-W335.
The MyHits web server (http://myhits.isb-sib.ch) is a new integrated service dedicated to the annotation of protein sequences and to the analysis of their domains and signatures. Guest users can use the system anonymously, with full access to (i) standard bioinformatics programs (e.g. PSI-BLAST, ClustalW, T-Coffee, Jalview); (ii) a large number of protein sequence databases, including standard (Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL) and locally developed databases (splice variants); (iii) databases of protein motifs (Prosite, Interpro); (iv) a precomputed list of matches (‘hits’) between the sequence and motif databases. All databases are updated on a weekly basis and the hit list is kept up to date incrementally. The MyHits server also includes a new collection of tools to generate graphical representations of pairwise and multiple sequence alignments including their annotated features. Free registration enables users to upload their own sequences and motifs to private databases. These are then made available through the same web interface and the same set of analytical tools. Registered users can manage their own sequences and annotations using only web tools and freeze their data in their private database for publication purposes.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkh479
PMCID: PMC441617  PMID: 15215405
20.  The Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;35(Database issue):D193-D197.
The ability to store and interconnect all available information on proteins is crucial to modern biological research. Accordingly, the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) plays an increasingly important role by providing a stable, comprehensive, freely accessible central resource on protein sequences and functional annotation. UniProt is produced by the UniProt Consortium, formed in 2002 by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the Protein Information Resource (PIR) and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB). The core activities include manual curation of protein sequences assisted by computational analysis, sequence archiving, development of a user-friendly UniProt web site and the provision of additional value-added information through cross-references to other databases. UniProt is comprised of three major components, each optimized for different uses: the UniProt Archive, the UniProt Knowledgebase and the UniProt Reference Clusters. An additional component consisting of metagenomic and environmental sequences has recently been added to UniProt to ensure availability of such sequences in a timely fashion. UniProt is updated and distributed on a bi-weekly basis and can be accessed online for searches or download at .
doi:10.1093/nar/gkl929
PMCID: PMC1669721  PMID: 17142230
21.  Infrastructure for the life sciences: design and implementation of the UniProt website 
BMC Bioinformatics  2009;10:136.
Background
The UniProt consortium was formed in 2002 by groups from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the Protein Information Resource (PIR) at Georgetown University, and soon afterwards the website was set up as a central entry point to UniProt resources. Requests to this address were redirected to one of the three organisations' websites. While these sites shared a set of static pages with general information about UniProt, their pages for searching and viewing data were different. To provide users with a consistent view and to cut the cost of maintaining three separate sites, the consortium decided to develop a common website for UniProt. Following several years of intense development and a year of public beta testing, the domain was switched to the newly developed site described in this paper in July 2008.
Description
The UniProt consortium is the main provider of protein sequence and annotation data for much of the life sciences community. The website is the primary access point to this data and to documentation and basic tools for the data. These tools include full text and field-based text search, similarity search, multiple sequence alignment, batch retrieval and database identifier mapping. This paper discusses the design and implementation of the new website, which was released in July 2008, and shows how it improves data access for users with different levels of experience, as well as to machines for programmatic access.
is open for both academic and commercial use. The site was built with open source tools and libraries. Feedback is very welcome and should be sent to help@uniprot.org.
Conclusion
The new UniProt website makes accessing and understanding UniProt easier than ever. The two main lessons learned are that getting the basics right for such a data provider website has huge benefits, but is not trivial and easy to underestimate, and that there is no substitute for using empirical data throughout the development process to decide on what is and what is not working for your users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-136
PMCID: PMC2686714  PMID: 19426475
22.  GeneReporter—sequence-based document retrieval and annotation 
Bioinformatics  2011;27(7):1034-1035.
Summary: GeneReporter is a web tool that reports functional information and relevant literature on a protein-coding sequence of interest. Its purpose is to support both manual genome annotation and document retrieval. PubMed references corresponding to a sequence are detected by the extraction of query words from UniProt entries of homologous sequences. Data on protein families, domains, potential cofactors, structure, function, cellular localization, metabolic contribution and corresponding DNA binding sites complement the information on a given gene product of interest.
Availability and implementation: GeneReporter is available at http://www.genereporter.tu-bs.de. The web site integrates databases and analysis tools as SOAP-based web services from the EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute) and NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
Contact: i.retter@tu-bs.de; ida.retter@helmholtz-hzi.de
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btr047
PMCID: PMC3065684  PMID: 21310745
23.  The European Bioinformatics Institute's data resources 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(1):43-50.
As the amount of biological data grows, so does the need for biologists to store and access this information in central repositories in a free and unambiguous manner. The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) hosts six core databases, which store information on DNA sequences (EMBL-Bank), protein sequences (SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL), protein structure (MSD), whole genomes (Ensembl) and gene expression (ArrayExpress). But just as a cell would be useless if it couldn't transcribe DNA or translate RNA, our resources would be compromised if each existed in isolation. We have therefore developed a range of tools that not only facilitate the deposition and retrieval of biological information, but also allow users to carry out searches that reflect the interconnectedness of biological information. The EBI's databases and tools are all available on our website at www.ebi.ac.uk.
PMCID: PMC165513  PMID: 12519944
24.  ArrayExpress update—simplifying data submissions 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;43(Database issue):D1113-D1116.
The ArrayExpress Archive of Functional Genomics Data (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress) is an international functional genomics database at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) recommended by most journals as a repository for data supporting peer-reviewed publications. It contains data from over 7000 public sequencing and 42 000 array-based studies comprising over 1.5 million assays in total. The proportion of sequencing-based submissions has grown significantly over the last few years and has doubled in the last 18 months, whilst the rate of microarray submissions is growing slightly. All data in ArrayExpress are available in the MAGE-TAB format, which allows robust linking to data analysis and visualization tools and standardized analysis. The main development over the last two years has been the release of a new data submission tool Annotare, which has reduced the average submission time almost 3-fold. In the near future, Annotare will become the only submission route into ArrayExpress, alongside MAGE-TAB format-based pipelines. ArrayExpress is a stable and highly accessed resource. Our future tasks include automation of data flows and further integration with other EMBL-EBI resources for the representation of multi-omics data.
doi:10.1093/nar/gku1057
PMCID: PMC4383899  PMID: 25361974
25.  LipidHome: A Database of Theoretical Lipids Optimized for High Throughput Mass Spectrometry Lipidomics 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e61951.
Protein sequence databases are the pillar upon which modern proteomics is supported, representing a stable reference space of predicted and validated proteins. One example of such resources is UniProt, enriched with both expertly curated and automatic annotations. Taken largely for granted, similar mature resources such as UniProt are not available yet in some other “omics” fields, lipidomics being one of them. While having a seasoned community of wet lab scientists, lipidomics lies significantly behind proteomics in the adoption of data standards and other core bioinformatics concepts. This work aims to reduce the gap by developing an equivalent resource to UniProt called ‘LipidHome’, providing theoretically generated lipid molecules and useful metadata. Using the ‘FASTLipid’ Java library, a database was populated with theoretical lipids, generated from a set of community agreed upon chemical bounds. In parallel, a web application was developed to present the information and provide computational access via a web service. Designed specifically to accommodate high throughput mass spectrometry based approaches, lipids are organised into a hierarchy that reflects the variety in the structural resolution of lipid identifications. Additionally, cross-references to other lipid related resources and papers that cite specific lipids were used to annotate lipid records. The web application encompasses a browser for viewing lipid records and a ‘tools’ section where an MS1 search engine is currently implemented. LipidHome can be accessed at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/apweiler-srv/lipidhome.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061951
PMCID: PMC3646891  PMID: 23667450

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