January 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 1)

URL:
http://genome.ucsc.edu

Rating:
Strong Points: Detailed instructions for each tool
Weak Points: Nothing major

Summary:

If you’re looking for a site with genomes galore, then click over to the Genome Bioinformatics page through the University of California, Santa Cruz. In the left sidebar you’ll be met with a large number of genome analysis tools, ranging from those that are intuitive (such as Genome Browser, which allows you to do just that) to those whose names will make you scratch your head. (Do you have any idea what BLAT or Galaxy might do? No? Well, I’ll let you go hunt down the answers yourself.) There is a tool to view the sequence of any PCR products within a given genome, given your set of primers (in silico PCR), and there is also a “virtual microscope for viewing in situ images” (VisiGene). If you begin to feel overwhelmed, fear not. Each tool is accompanied by a description detailing how to begin your search, as well as a link to the even more comprehensive user’s guide.