October 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 17)
Strong Points: Animations load quickly, easy to use
Weak Points: A more comprehensive animation legend would be helpful
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—who doesn’t love a good molecular pathway map? They’re colorful, they make for great lab décor, and, oh yeah, they’re also informative (a minor selling point, to be sure). So what could possibly make the exciting world of KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways even more enjoyable? To animate them, of course! That’s what the people of the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Tartu have done in their KEGG anim database. Overlaying user-uploaded or public datasets on top of the KEGG pathway maps provides visitors to the database an animated look at gene interactions over time. Users select the dataset and pathway, and the animation is subsequently created. The site actually loads the animations rather quickly, and I didn’t find any problems with them freezing. KEGG anim is a wonderful resource combining static pathway maps with an ever-growing body of experimental data.