November 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 19)


Strong Points: Size of database info
Weak Points: Confusing in places

Described on its opening page as “database and graphical user interface enabling comparative genomic studies within the Metazoa,” Metazome houses 10 sequenced animal genomes, whose genetic information has been cross-linked with PFAM, KOG, and PANTHER (see below for more). Access to information is primarily via a search engine, which permits users to examine not only sequence alignments and phylogenetic relationships of selected genes, but also their functional context and synteny. Searches are performed in a BLAST window (with pasting in of sequences) or a rather Spartan “searchable nodes” windows where users can search through organism info (mammals, for example) or, alternatively, can perform alignments. The last function, in my hands, was confusing at best or nonfunctional at worst. Overall, though, Metazome provides easy access to a considerable amount of information.

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