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1.  The EBI Search engine: providing search and retrieval functionality for biological data from EMBL-EBI 
Nucleic Acids Research  2015;43(Web Server issue):W585-W588.
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI—https://www.ebi.ac.uk) provides free and unrestricted access to data across all major areas of biology and biomedicine. Searching and extracting knowledge across these domains requires a fast and scalable solution that addresses the requirements of domain experts as well as casual users. We present the EBI Search engine, referred to here as ‘EBI Search’, an easy-to-use fast text search and indexing system with powerful data navigation and retrieval capabilities. API integration provides access to analytical tools, allowing users to further investigate the results of their search. The interconnectivity that exists between data resources at EMBL-EBI provides easy, quick and precise navigation and a better understanding of the relationship between different data types including sequences, genes, gene products, proteins, protein domains, protein families, enzymes and macromolecular structures, together with relevant life science literature.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkv316
PMCID: PMC4489232  PMID: 25855807
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 InterPro protein families database: the classification resource after 15 years 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;43(Database issue):D213-D221.
The InterPro database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/) is a freely available resource that can be used to classify sequences into protein families and to predict the presence of important domains and sites. Central to the InterPro database are predictive models, known as signatures, from a range of different protein family databases that have different biological focuses and use different methodological approaches to classify protein families and domains. InterPro integrates these signatures, capitalizing on the respective strengths of the individual databases, to produce a powerful protein classification resource. Here, we report on the status of InterPro as it enters its 15th year of operation, and give an overview of new developments with the database and its associated Web interfaces and software. In particular, the new domain architecture search tool is described and the process of mapping of Gene Ontology terms to InterPro is outlined. We also discuss the challenges faced by the resource given the explosive growth in sequence data in recent years. InterPro (version 48.0) contains 36 766 member database signatures integrated into 26 238 InterPro entries, an increase of over 3993 entries (5081 signatures), since 2012.
doi:10.1093/nar/gku1243
PMCID: PMC4383996  PMID: 25428371
4.  Content discovery and retrieval services at the European Nucleotide Archive 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;43(Database issue):D23-D29.
The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena) is Europe's primary resource for nucleotide sequence information. With the growing volume and diversity of public sequencing data comes the need for increased sophistication in data organisation, presentation and search services so as to maximise its discoverability and usability. In response to this, ENA has been introducing and improving checklists for use during submission and expanding its search facilities to provide targeted search results. Here, we give a brief update on ENA content and some major developments undertaken in data submission services during 2014. We then describe in more detail the services we offer for data discovery and retrieval.
doi:10.1093/nar/gku1129
PMCID: PMC4383942  PMID: 25404130
5.  Assembly information services in the European Nucleotide Archive 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(Database issue):D38-D43.
The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena) is a repository for the world public domain nucleotide sequence data output. ENA content covers a spectrum of data types including raw reads, assembly data and functional annotation. ENA has faced a dramatic growth in genome assembly submission rates, data volumes and complexity of datasets. This has prompted a broad reworking of assembly submission services, for which we now reach the end of a major programme of work and many enhancements have already been made available over the year to components of the submission service. In this article, we briefly review ENA content and growth over 2013, describe our rapidly developing services for genome assembly information and outline further major developments over the last year.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt1082
PMCID: PMC3965037  PMID: 24214989
6.  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
7.  Facing growth in the European Nucleotide Archive 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D30-D35.
The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena/) collects, maintains and presents comprehensive nucleic acid sequence and related information as part of the permanent public scientific record. Here, we provide brief updates on ENA content developments and major service enhancements in 2012 and describe in more detail two important areas of development and policy that are driven by ongoing growth in sequencing technologies. First, we describe the ENA data warehouse, a resource for which we provide a programmatic entry point to integrated content across the breadth of ENA. Second, we detail our plans for the deployment of CRAM data compression technology in ENA.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks1175
PMCID: PMC3531187  PMID: 23203883
8.  IPD—the Immuno Polymorphism Database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D1234-D1240.
The Immuno Polymorphism Database (IPD), http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ipd/ is a set of specialist databases related to the study of polymorphic genes in the immune system. The IPD project works with specialist groups or nomenclature committees who provide and curate individual sections before they are submitted to IPD for online publication. The IPD project stores all the data in a set of related databases. IPD currently consists of four databases: IPD-KIR, contains the allelic sequences of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors, IPD-MHC, a database of sequences of the major histocompatibility complex of different species; IPD-HPA, alloantigens expressed only on platelets; and IPD-ESTDAB, which provides access to the European Searchable Tumour Cell-Line Database, a cell bank of immunologically characterized melanoma cell lines. The data is currently available online from the website and FTP directory. This article describes the latest updates and additional tools added to the IPD project.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks1140
PMCID: PMC3531162  PMID: 23180793
9.  The IMGT/HLA database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D1222-D1227.
It is 14 years since the IMGT/HLA database was first released, providing the HLA community with a searchable repository of highly curated HLA sequences. The HLA complex is located within the 6p21.3 region of human chromosome 6 and contains more than 220 genes of diverse function. Of these, 21 genes encode proteins of the immune system that are highly polymorphic. The naming of these HLA genes and alleles and their quality control is the responsibility of the World Health Organization Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. Through the work of the HLA Informatics Group and in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute, we are able to provide public access to these data through the website http://www.ebi.ac.uk/imgt/hla/. Regular updates to the website ensure that new and confirmatory sequences are dispersed to the HLA community and the wider research and clinical communities. This article describes the latest updates and additional tools added to the IMGT/HLA project.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks949
PMCID: PMC3531221  PMID: 23080122
11.  InterPro in 2011: new developments in the family and domain prediction database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;40(Database issue):D306-D312.
InterPro (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/) is a database that integrates diverse information about protein families, domains and functional sites, and makes it freely available to the public via Web-based interfaces and services. Central to the database are diagnostic models, known as signatures, against which protein sequences can be searched to determine their potential function. InterPro has utility in the large-scale analysis of whole genomes and meta-genomes, as well as in characterizing individual protein sequences. Herein we give an overview of new developments in the database and its associated software since 2009, including updates to database content, curation processes and Web and programmatic interfaces.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkr948
PMCID: PMC3245097  PMID: 22096229
12.  The IMGT/HLA database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;39(Database issue):D1171-D1176.
It is 12 years since the IMGT/HLA database was first released, providing the HLA community with a searchable repository of highly curated HLA sequences. The HLA complex is located within the 6p21.3 region of human chromosome 6 and contains more than 220 genes of diverse function. Many of the genes encode proteins of the immune system and are highly polymorphic. The naming of these HLA genes and alleles and their quality control is the responsibility of the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. Through the work of the HLA Informatics Group and in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute, we are able to provide public access to this data through the web site http://www.ebi.ac.uk/imgt/hla/. Regular updates to the web site ensure that new and confirmatory sequences are dispersed to the HLA community, and the wider research and clinical communities.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq998
PMCID: PMC3013815  PMID: 21071412
13.  BioCatalogue: a universal catalogue of web services for the life sciences 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(Web Server issue):W689-W694.
The use of Web Services to enable programmatic access to on-line bioinformatics is becoming increasingly important in the Life Sciences. However, their number, distribution and the variable quality of their documentation can make their discovery and subsequent use difficult. A Web Services registry with information on available services will help to bring together service providers and their users. The BioCatalogue (http://www.biocatalogue.org/) provides a common interface for registering, browsing and annotating Web Services to the Life Science community. Services in the BioCatalogue can be described and searched in multiple ways based upon their technical types, bioinformatics categories, user tags, service providers or data inputs and outputs. They are also subject to constant monitoring, allowing the identification of service problems and changes and the filtering-out of unavailable or unreliable resources. The system is accessible via a human-readable ‘Web 2.0’-style interface and a programmatic Web Service interface. The BioCatalogue follows a community approach in which all services can be registered, browsed and incrementally documented with annotations by any member of the scientific community.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkq394
PMCID: PMC2896129  PMID: 20484378
14.  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
15.  Improvements to services at the European Nucleotide Archive 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D39-D45.
The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena) is Europe’s primary nucleotide sequence archival resource, safeguarding open nucleotide data access, engaging in worldwide collaborative data exchange and integrating with the scientific publication process. ENA has made significant contributions to the collaborative nucleotide archival arena as an active proponent of extending the traditional collaboration to cover capillary and next-generation sequencing information. We have continued to co-develop data and metadata representation formats with our collaborators for both data exchange and public data dissemination. In addition to the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank feature table format, we share metadata formats for capillary and next-generation sequencing traces and are using and contributing to the NCBI SRA Toolkit for the long-term storage of the next-generation sequence traces. During the course of 2009, ENA has significantly improved sequence submission, search and access functionalities provided at EMBL–EBI. In this article, we briefly describe the content and scope of our archive and introduce major improvements to our services.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkp998
PMCID: PMC2808951  PMID: 19906712
16.  Non-redundant patent sequence databases with value-added annotations at two levels 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D52-D56.
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) provides public access to patent data, including abstracts, chemical compounds and sequences. Sequences can appear multiple times due to the filing of the same invention with multiple patent offices, or the use of the same sequence by different inventors in different contexts. Information relating to the source invention may be incomplete, and biological information available in patent documents elsewhere may not be reflected in the annotation of the sequence. Search and analysis of these data have become increasingly challenging for both the scientific and intellectual-property communities. Here, we report a collection of non-redundant patent sequence databases, which cover the EMBL-Bank nucleotides patent class and the patent protein databases and contain value-added annotations from patent documents. The databases were created at two levels by the use of sequence MD5 checksums. Sequences within a level-1 cluster are 100% identical over their whole length. Level-2 clusters were defined by sub-grouping level-1 clusters based on patent family information. Value-added annotations, such as publication number corrections, earliest publication dates and feature collations, significantly enhance the quality of the data, allowing for better tracking and cross-referencing. The databases are available format: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/patentdata/nr/.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkp960
PMCID: PMC2808894  PMID: 19884134
17.  IPD—the Immuno Polymorphism Database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D863-D869.
The Immuno Polymorphism Database (IPD) (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ipd/) is a set of specialist databases related to the study of polymorphic genes in the immune system. The IPD project works with specialist groups or nomenclature committees who provide and curate individual sections before they are submitted to IPD for online publication. The IPD project stores all the data in a set of related databases. IPD currently consists of four databases: IPD-KIR, contains the allelic sequences of Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors, IPD-MHC, is a database of sequences of the Major Histocompatibility Complex of different species; IPD-human platelet antigens, alloantigens expressed only on platelets and IPD-ESTDAB, which provides access to the European Searchable Tumour cell-line database, a cell bank of immunologically characterised melanoma cell lines. The data is currently available online from the website and ftp directory.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkp879
PMCID: PMC2808958  PMID: 19875415
18.  Web services at the European Bioinformatics Institute-2009 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;37(Web Server issue):W6-W10.
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) has been providing access to mainstream databases and tools in bioinformatics since 1997. In addition to the traditional web form based interfaces, APIs exist for core data resources such as EMBL-Bank, Ensembl, UniProt, InterPro, PDB and ArrayExpress. These APIs are based on Web Services (SOAP/REST) interfaces that allow users to systematically access databases and analytical tools. From the user's point of view, these Web Services provide the same functionality as the browser-based forms. However, using the APIs frees the user from web page constraints and are ideal for the analysis of large batches of data, performing text-mining tasks and the casual or systematic evaluation of mathematical models in regulatory networks. Furthermore, these services are widespread and easy to use; require no prior knowledge of the technology and no more than basic experience in programming. In the following we wish to inform of new and updated services as well as briefly describe planned developments to be made available during the course of 2009–2010.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkp302
PMCID: PMC2703973  PMID: 19435877
19.  Petabyte-scale innovations at the European Nucleotide Archive 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(Database issue):D19-D25.
Dramatic increases in the throughput of nucleotide sequencing machines, and the promise of ever greater performance, have thrust bioinformatics into the era of petabyte-scale data sets. Sequence repositories, which provide the feed for these data sets into the worldwide computational infrastructure, are challenged by the impact of these data volumes. The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA; http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl), comprising the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database and the Ensembl Trace Archive, has identified challenges in the storage, movement, analysis, interpretation and visualization of petabyte-scale data sets. We present here our new repository for next generation sequence data, a brief summary of contents of the ENA and provide details of major developments to submission pipelines, high-throughput rule-based validation infrastructure and data integration approaches.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkn765
PMCID: PMC2686451  PMID: 18978013
20.  InterPro: the integrative protein signature database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(Database issue):D211-D215.
The InterPro database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/) integrates together predictive models or ‘signatures’ representing protein domains, families and functional sites from multiple, diverse source databases: Gene3D, PANTHER, Pfam, PIRSF, PRINTS, ProDom, PROSITE, SMART, SUPERFAMILY and TIGRFAMs. Integration is performed manually and approximately half of the total ∼58 000 signatures available in the source databases belong to an InterPro entry. Recently, we have started to also display the remaining un-integrated signatures via our web interface. Other developments include the provision of non-signature data, such as structural data, in new XML files on our FTP site, as well as the inclusion of matchless UniProtKB proteins in the existing match XML files. The web interface has been extended and now links out to the ADAN predicted protein–protein interaction database and the SPICE and Dasty viewers. The latest public release (v18.0) covers 79.8% of UniProtKB (v14.1) and consists of 16 549 entries. InterPro data may be accessed either via the web address above, via web services, by downloading files by anonymous FTP or by using the InterProScan search software (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/InterProScan/).
doi:10.1093/nar/gkn785
PMCID: PMC2686546  PMID: 18940856
21.  The IMGT/HLA database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(Database issue):D1013-D1017.
It is 10 years since the IMGT/HLA database was released, providing the HLA community with a searchable repository of highly curated HLA sequences. The HLA complex is located within the 6p21.3 region of human chromosome 6 and contains more than 220 genes of diverse function. Many of the genes encode proteins of the immune system and are highly polymorphic. The naming of these HLA genes and alleles, and their quality control is the responsibility of the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. Through the work of the HLA Informatics Group and in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute, we are able to provide public access to this data through the website http://www.ebi.ac.uk/imgt/hla/. The first release contained 964 sequences, the most recent release 3300 sequences, with around 450 new sequences been added each year. The tools provided on the website have been updated to allow more complex alignments, which include genomic sequence data, as well as the development of tools for probe and primer design and the inclusion of data from the HLA Dictionary. Regular updates to the website ensure that new and confirmatory sequences are dispersed to the HLA community, and the wider research and clinical communities.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkn662
PMCID: PMC2686596  PMID: 18838392
22.  Priorities for nucleotide trace, sequence and annotation data capture at the Ensembl Trace Archive and the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;36(Database issue):D5-D12.
The Ensembl Trace Archive (http://trace.ensembl.org/) and the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl/), known together as the European Nucleotide Archive, continue to see growth in data volume and diversity. Selected major developments of 2007 are presented briefly, along with data submission and retrieval information. In the face of increasing requirements for nucleotide trace, sequence and annotation data archiving, data capture priority decisions have been taken at the European Nucleotide Archive. Priorities are discussed in terms of how reliably information can be captured, the long-term benefits of its capture and the ease with which it can be captured.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm1018
PMCID: PMC2238915  PMID: 18039715
23.  Web Services at the European Bioinformatics Institute 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(Web Server issue):W6-W11.
We present a new version of the European Bioinformatics Institute Web Services, a complete suite of SOAP-based web tools for structural and functional analysis, with new and improved applications. New functionality has been added to most of the services already available, and an improved version of the underlying framework has allowed us to include more applications.
Information on the EBI Web Services, tutorials and clients can be found at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/webservices.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm291
PMCID: PMC1933145  PMID: 17576686
24.  New developments in the InterPro database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(Database issue):D224-D228.
InterPro is an integrated resource for protein families, domains and functional sites, which integrates the following protein signature databases: PROSITE, PRINTS, ProDom, Pfam, SMART, TIGRFAMs, PIRSF, SUPERFAMILY, Gene3D and PANTHER. The latter two new member databases have been integrated since the last publication in this journal. There have been several new developments in InterPro, including an additional reading field, new database links, extensions to the web interface and additional match XML files. InterPro has always provided matches to UniProtKB proteins on the website and in the match XML file on the FTP site. Additional matches to proteins in UniParc (UniProt archive) are now available for download in the new match XML files only. The latest InterPro release (13.0) contains more than 13 000 entries, covering over 78% of all proteins in UniProtKB. The database is available for text- and sequence-based searches via a webserver (), and for download by anonymous FTP (). The InterProScan search tool is now also available via a web service at .
doi:10.1093/nar/gkl841
PMCID: PMC1899100  PMID: 17202162
25.  EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database in 2006 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;35(Database issue):D16-D20.
The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database () at the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, UK, offers a large and freely accessible collection of nucleotide sequences and accompanying annotation. The database is maintained in collaboration with DDBJ and GenBank. Data are exchanged between the collaborating databases on a daily basis to achieve optimal synchrony. Webin is the preferred tool for individual submissions of nucleotide sequences, including Third Party Annotation, alignments and bulk data. Automated procedures are provided for submissions from large-scale sequencing projects and data from the European Patent Office. In 2006, the volume of data has continued to grow exponentially. Access to the data is provided via SRS, ftp and variety of other methods. Extensive external and internal cross-references enable users to search for related information across other databases and within the database. All available resources can be accessed via the EBI home page at . Changes over the past year include changes to the file format, further development of the EMBLCDS dataset and developments to the XML format.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkl913
PMCID: PMC1897316  PMID: 17148479

Results 1-25 (38)