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1.  Ensembl 2014 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(Database issue):D749-D755.
Ensembl (http://www.ensembl.org) creates tools and data resources to facilitate genomic analysis in chordate species with an emphasis on human, major vertebrate model organisms and farm animals. Over the past year we have increased the number of species that we support to 77 and expanded our genome browser with a new scrollable overview and improved variation and phenotype views. We also report updates to our core datasets and improvements to our gene homology relationships from the addition of new species. Our REST service has been extended with additional support for comparative genomics and ontology information. Finally, we provide updated information about our methods for data access and resources for user training.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt1196
PMCID: PMC3964975  PMID: 24316576
2.  SCOP2 prototype: a new approach to protein structure mining 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(D1):D310-D314.
We present a prototype of a new structural classification of proteins, SCOP2 (http://scop2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/), that we have developed recently. SCOP2 is a successor to the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP, http://scop.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/scop/) database. Similarly to SCOP, the main focus of SCOP2 is to organize structurally characterized proteins according to their structural and evolutionary relationships. SCOP2 was designed to provide a more advanced framework for protein structure annotation and classification. It defines a new approach to the classification of proteins that is essentially different from SCOP, but retains its best features. The SCOP2 classification is described in terms of a directed acyclic graph in which nodes form a complex network of many-to-many relationships and are represented by a region of protein structure and sequence. The new classification project is expected to ensure new advances in the field and open new areas of research.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt1242
PMCID: PMC3964979  PMID: 24293656
3.  Ensembl Genomes 2013: scaling up access to genome-wide data 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(Database issue):D546-D552.
Ensembl Genomes (http://www.ensemblgenomes.org) is an integrating resource for genome-scale data from non-vertebrate species. The project exploits and extends technologies for genome annotation, analysis and dissemination, developed in the context of the vertebrate-focused Ensembl project, and provides a complementary set of resources for non-vertebrate species through a consistent set of programmatic and interactive interfaces. These provide access to data including reference sequence, gene models, transcriptional data, polymorphisms and comparative analysis. This article provides an update to the previous publications about the resource, with a focus on recent developments. These include the addition of important new genomes (and related data sets) including crop plants, vectors of human disease and eukaryotic pathogens. In addition, the resource has scaled up its representation of bacterial genomes, and now includes the genomes of over 9000 bacteria. Specific extensions to the web and programmatic interfaces have been developed to support users in navigating these large data sets. Looking forward, analytic tools to allow targeted selection of data for visualization and download are likely to become increasingly important in future as the number of available genomes increases within all domains of life, and some of the challenges faced in representing bacterial data are likely to become commonplace for eukaryotes in future.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt979
PMCID: PMC3965094  PMID: 24163254
4.  Ensembl 2013 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D48-D55.
The Ensembl project (http://www.ensembl.org) provides genome information for sequenced chordate genomes with a particular focus on human, mouse, zebrafish and rat. Our resources include evidenced-based gene sets for all supported species; large-scale whole genome multiple species alignments across vertebrates and clade-specific alignments for eutherian mammals, primates, birds and fish; variation data resources for 17 species and regulation annotations based on ENCODE and other data sets. Ensembl data are accessible through the genome browser at http://www.ensembl.org and through other tools and programmatic interfaces.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks1236
PMCID: PMC3531136  PMID: 23203987
5.  The 1000 Genomes Project: Data Management and Community Access 
Nature methods  2012;9(5):459-462.
The 1000 Genomes Project was launched as one of the largest distributed data collection and analysis projects ever undertaken in biology. In addition to the primary scientific goals of creating both a deep catalogue of human genetic variation and extensive methods to accurately discover and characterize variation using new sequencing technologies, the project makes all of its data publicly available for community use. The project data coordination center has developed and deployed several tools to enable widespread data access.
doi:10.1038/nmeth.1974
PMCID: PMC3340611  PMID: 22543379
6.  Ensembl 2012 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;40(Database issue):D84-D90.
The Ensembl project (http://www.ensembl.org) provides genome resources for chordate genomes with a particular focus on human genome data as well as data for key model organisms such as mouse, rat and zebrafish. Five additional species were added in the last year including gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) and Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) bringing the total number of supported species to 61 as of Ensembl release 64 (September 2011). Of these, 55 species appear on the main Ensembl website and six species are provided on the Ensembl preview site (Pre!Ensembl; http://pre.ensembl.org) with preliminary support. The past year has also seen improvements across the project.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkr991
PMCID: PMC3245178  PMID: 22086963
7.  Ensembl Genomes: an integrative resource for genome-scale data from non-vertebrate species 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;40(Database issue):D91-D97.
Ensembl Genomes (http://www.ensemblgenomes.org) is an integrative resource for genome-scale data from non-vertebrate species. The project exploits and extends technology (for genome annotation, analysis and dissemination) developed in the context of the (vertebrate-focused) Ensembl project and provides a complementary set of resources for non-vertebrate species through a consistent set of programmatic and interactive interfaces. These provide access to data including reference sequence, gene models, transcriptional data, polymorphisms and comparative analysis. Since its launch in 2009, Ensembl Genomes has undergone rapid expansion, with the goal of providing coverage of all major experimental organisms, and additionally including taxonomic reference points to provide the evolutionary context in which genes can be understood. Against the backdrop of a continuing increase in genome sequencing activities in all parts of the tree of life, we seek to work, wherever possible, with the communities actively generating and using data, and are participants in a growing range of collaborations involved in the annotation and analysis of genomes.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkr895
PMCID: PMC3245118  PMID: 22067447
8.  Ensembl 2011 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;39(Database issue):D800-D806.
The Ensembl project (http://www.ensembl.org) seeks to enable genomic science by providing high quality, integrated annotation on chordate and selected eukaryotic genomes within a consistent and accessible infrastructure. All supported species include comprehensive, evidence-based gene annotations and a selected set of genomes includes additional data focused on variation, comparative, evolutionary, functional and regulatory annotation. The most advanced resources are provided for key species including human, mouse, rat and zebrafish reflecting the popularity and importance of these species in biomedical research. As of Ensembl release 59 (August 2010), 56 species are supported of which 5 have been added in the past year. Since our previous report, we have substantially improved the presentation and integration of both data of disease relevance and the regulatory state of different cell types.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq1064
PMCID: PMC3013672  PMID: 21045057
9.  Ensembl variation resources 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:293.
Background
The maturing field of genomics is rapidly increasing the number of sequenced genomes and producing more information from those previously sequenced. Much of this additional information is variation data derived from sampling multiple individuals of a given species with the goal of discovering new variants and characterising the population frequencies of the variants that are already known. These data have immense value for many studies, including those designed to understand evolution and connect genotype to phenotype. Maximising the utility of the data requires that it be stored in an accessible manner that facilitates the integration of variation data with other genome resources such as gene annotation and comparative genomics.
Description
The Ensembl project provides comprehensive and integrated variation resources for a wide variety of chordate genomes. This paper provides a detailed description of the sources of data and the methods for creating the Ensembl variation databases. It also explores the utility of the information by explaining the range of query options available, from using interactive web displays, to online data mining tools and connecting directly to the data servers programmatically. It gives a good overview of the variation resources and future plans for expanding the variation data within Ensembl.
Conclusions
Variation data is an important key to understanding the functional and phenotypic differences between individuals. The development of new sequencing and genotyping technologies is greatly increasing the amount of variation data known for almost all genomes. The Ensembl variation resources are integrated into the Ensembl genome browser and provide a comprehensive way to access this data in the context of a widely used genome bioinformatics system. All Ensembl data is freely available at http://www.ensembl.org and from the public MySQL database server at ensembldb.ensembl.org.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-293
PMCID: PMC2894800  PMID: 20459805
10.  Ensembl’s 10th year 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D557-D562.
Ensembl (http://www.ensembl.org) integrates genomic information for a comprehensive set of chordate genomes with a particular focus on resources for human, mouse, rat, zebrafish and other high-value sequenced genomes. We provide complete gene annotations for all supported species in addition to specific resources that target genome variation, function and evolution. Ensembl data is accessible in a variety of formats including via our genome browser, API and BioMart. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Ensembl and in that time the project has grown with advances in genome technology. As of release 56 (September 2009), Ensembl supports 51 species including marmoset, pig, zebra finch, lizard, gorilla and wallaby, which were added in the past year. Major additions and improvements to Ensembl since our previous report include the incorporation of the human GRCh37 assembly, enhanced visualisation and data-mining options for the Ensembl regulatory features and continued development of our software infrastructure.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkp972
PMCID: PMC2808936  PMID: 19906699
11.  A Bayesian deconvolution strategy for immunoprecipitation-based DNA methylome analysis 
Nature biotechnology  2008;26(7):779-785.
DNA methylation is an indispensible epigenetic modification of mammalian genomes. Consequently there is great interest in strategies for genome-wide/whole-genome DNA methylation analysis, and immunoprecipitation-based methods have proven to be a powerful option. Such methods are rapidly shifting the bottleneck from data generation to data analysis, necessitating the development of better analytical tools. Until now, a major analytical difficulty associated with immunoprecipitation-based DNA methylation profiling has been the inability to estimate absolute methylation levels. Here we report the development of a novel cross-platform algorithm – Bayesian Tool for Methylation Analysis (Batman) – for analyzing Methylated DNA Immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) profiles generated using arrays (MeDIP-chip) or next-generation sequencing (MeDIP-seq). The latter is an approach we have developed to elucidate the first high-resolution whole-genome DNA methylation profile (DNA methylome) of any mammalian genome. MeDIP-seq/MeDIP-chip combined with Batman represent robust, quantitative, and cost-effective functional genomic strategies for elucidating the function of DNA methylation.
doi:10.1038/nbt1414
PMCID: PMC2644410  PMID: 18612301
12.  Integrating biological data – the Distributed Annotation System 
BMC Bioinformatics  2008;9(Suppl 8):S3.
Background
The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) is a widely adopted protocol for dynamically integrating a wide range of biological data from geographically diverse sources. DAS continues to expand its applicability and evolve in response to new challenges facing integrative bioinformatics.
Results
Here we describe the various infrastructure components of DAS and present a new extended version of the DAS specification. Version 1.53E incorporates several recent developments, including its extension to serve new data types and an ontology for protein features.
Conclusion
Our extensions to the DAS protocol have facilitated the integration of new data types, and our improvements to the existing DAS infrastructure have addressed recent challenges. The steadily increasing numbers of available data sources demonstrates further adoption of the DAS protocol.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-9-S8-S3
PMCID: PMC2500094  PMID: 18673527
13.  ProServer: a simple, extensible Perl DAS server 
Bioinformatics  2007;23(12):1568-1570.
Summary: The increasing size and complexity of biological databases has led to a growing trend to federate rather than duplicate them. In order to share data between federated databases, protocols for the exchange mechanism must be developed. One such data exchange protocol that is widely used is the Distributed Annotation System (DAS). For example, DAS has enabled small experimental groups to integrate their data into the Ensembl genome browser. We have developed ProServer, a simple, lightweight, Perl-based DAS server that does not depend on a separate HTTP server. The ProServer package is easily extensible, allowing data to be served from almost any underlying data model. Recent additions to the DAS protocol have enabled both structure and alignment (sequence and structural) data to be exchanged. ProServer allows both of these data types to be served.
Availability: ProServer can be downloaded from http://www.sanger.ac.uk/proserver/ or CPAN http://search.cpan.org/~rpettett/. Details on the system requirements and installation of ProServer can be found at http://www.sanger.ac.uk/proserver/.
Contact: rmp@sanger.ac.uk
Supplementary Materials: DasClientExamples.pdf
doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btl650
PMCID: PMC2989875  PMID: 17237073
14.  Integrating sequence and structural biology with DAS 
BMC Bioinformatics  2007;8:333.
Background
The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) is a network protocol for exchanging biological data. It is frequently used to share annotations of genomes and protein sequence.
Results
Here we present several extensions to the current DAS 1.5 protocol. These provide new commands to share alignments, three dimensional molecular structure data, add the possibility for registration and discovery of DAS servers, and provide a convention how to provide different types of data plots. We present examples of web sites and applications that use the new extensions. We operate a public registry of DAS sources, which now includes entries for more than 250 distinct sources.
Conclusion
Our DAS extensions are essential for the management of the growing number of services and exchange of diverse biological data sets. In addition the extensions allow new types of applications to be developed and scientific questions to be addressed. The registry of DAS sources is available at
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-333
PMCID: PMC2031907  PMID: 17850653

Results 1-14 (14)