March 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 5)


Strong Points: Simple interface, significant how-to information
Weak Points: None


No, this site won’t help chase away the winter blues with promises of pristine beaches and sapphire blue waters. It will, however, allow you to view predicted genomic islands (if that is any consolation). Genomic islands are genomic regions found in prokaryotes that are oftentimes associated with adaptive functions for the organisms, such as antibiotic resistance. IslandViewer integrates three different genomic-island prediction methods, simultaneously displaying all predicted regions for a given species. There are also the additional options of IslandPick (the user can manually select comparison genomes, as opposed to using the defaults) and IslandPath (allows one to view sequence features common to the genomic islands for a particular genome). With a very expansive list of species from which to choose, IslandViewer is a useful resource for researchers. So yeah, maybe genomic islands aren’t as picturesque as tropical ones, but researchers are bound to find beauty in the convenience of the computational tools on this site.

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