February 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 4)
Strong Points: Great use of genomic info
Weak Points: A bit complex
With the abundance of genomic sequences now annotated, the automated analysis of them continues to evolve and the offerings are both impressive and rapidly expanding. One site I have somehow managed to overlook to date is HomoloGene from the NIH. With complete genome sequences totaling more than 1,000 viruses and over one hundred microbes, Homologene’s database has a lot to offer. Users access it by entering the name of a gene of interest. The system then performs an analysis and retrieves the homologous families of genes across the spectrum of species that match the query. I entered “insulin”, for example, and retrieved over 700 families of homologs that included that name. Clicking on a given family presents options to the user to see/download sequences and alignments. Tables of pairwise sequence homologies between species are available, as are many more options than will fit in this short space.