22 July, 2008

The final verdict ...

In a previous post I promised to do some more genome browser screenshot counting. So, that is what I did last week at the XX International Congress of Genetics 2008 in Berlin. I limited myself to the second poster session of the conference that should have contained 675 posters. To my surprise a vast amount was missing though, so I estimate that the number I looked at was closer to somewhere between 400 and 500. Compared to the Barcelona conference the result was poor; I identified only 4 posters with Ensembl screenshots as well as 4 posters with UCSC Genome Browser screenshots and none with NCBI Map Viewer screenshots. So, based on the combined results from two genetics conferences, it seems that the Ensembl and UCSC browsers are about equally popular amongst poster-making geneticists.

However, I had expected more genome browser screenshots in general. What can be the reason for these low numbers? Is there no need for screenshots at all? Or can people not get what they need for their poster from Ensembl or UCSC? We are curious about your thoughts and views on this and are welcoming any suggestions for improvements to Ensembl that will make preparing figures for your poster (or publication) more of a breeze!

16 July, 2008

Update on new release and new interface

The next release (50) will happen in just under a week's time. This will retain the old (classic) look, with the Ensembl interface you are all used to! The new interface will be released in August as a publicly accessible beta testing site alongside our usual Ensembl, in order to make sure everything is running smoothly before we switch over completely. This will give us time to collect feedback from you about the new interface, before we completely switch over to the new interface in release 51 (due in September).

What can you expect in release 50?

A new gene set for human, where UTRs (UnTranslated Regions) are based on ditags. An improved merge between the new human Ensembl gene set and the latest manually annotated gene set from Havana will be available. Also, new gene sets for tetraodon (genes from the Ensembl pipeline along with other genes from the genoscope set), C. elegans (WS190), and projection of the new human set against pika and cat.

Cow has a new assembly and geneset! The Ensembl automated pipeline was run on Btau 4.0 for this release.

New variation sets will be available for orangutan, tetraodon, cow and human.

We will keep you posted about the new interface, beta testing surveys, and upcoming organisms and annotation in release 51.

Thanks to all our users.