17 February, 2011

The Ensembl blog is moving!

We have now moved our blog to an independent server that will allow us more control. Forthcoming new features include a workshop calendar, and some content such as our development roadmap will also be moved from the main Ensembl website to the blog site, where they are easier for us to update.

New Ensembl blog

Please update your bookmarks and RSS readers to the new address, as no further posts will be made here.

See you on the new site! You will be redirected in 4 seconds.

09 February, 2011

New Ensembl Genomes release expands the metazoa

I'm going to be blogging a bit more about the recent Ensembl 61 release and the Ensembl Genomes 8 release - lots and lots of goodies in both these releases - web site tweaks (some of the them totally critical for generating good displays), the new "favourite tracks" feature, and impressive content changes.

I'll start today on content changes, and in Ensembl Genomes 8 there are some important genome additions. Some come from Paul Kersey's new collaboration with PhtyoPathDB - more on that in a later post - but top of my excitement has been the diversity in metazoa. The Ensembl Metazoa team has added Sea Urchin, Sea Anemone, the rather weird primitive animal, Trichoplax adhaerens (also called the "carpet" organism) and the blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni. The motivation of bringing these organisms in is to broaden our phylogenetic tree and comparisons we can provide across all of life. So for example for the drosophila Twist

One can now see the deep tree for this across metazoa:

For example, there is a deep ortholog to Trichoplax:

which seems to predate the split of some of these Helix Loop Helix proteins, whereas
there are other members of the family which have paralog in Trichoplax

meaning that there seems a fundamental split in this developmentally key
transcription factor. This is just one of many interesting gene trees that
one can look at using this resource...

Happy browsing/data mining!

Ensembl Genomes Release 8

The Ensembl Genomes Project is pleased to announce release 8 of Ensembl Genomes (http://www.ensemblgenomes.org/).

The main highlights of this release are:

Software migration to Ensembl 61

New Pan Compara database consisting a selection of vertebrate genomes from Ensembl 61 and genomes from Ensembl Genomes 8 (incorporating 8 new species), giving a species total of 313.

3 oomycete genomes added to Ensembl Protists, including Phytopthora infestans and Phytopthora ramorum responsible for potato blight and Sudden Oak Death disease respectively.

5 genomes added to Ensembl Metazoa, including Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinodermata) (sea urchin), Apis mellifera (Arthropoda) (honey bee) and Nematostella vectensis (Cnidaria) (sea anemone).

For further details please visit the individual homepages:

02 February, 2011

Favourite tracks in 61

Ensembl 61 has gone live. In displays like gene summary and region in detail, favourite tracks can be turned on. To do this, open the configuration panel (click on configure this page in the left hand menu). Activating a star by clicking on it will place that track in the favourites menu (shown by an arrow in the diagram).

Hover over any track name in these views to view information about the data, change the display, or turn the track off. Turning on tracks must still be done with the configuration panel.

We hope this helps ease of navigation. Read about other updates in 61, such as our new species, Turkey, in the news. The Ensembl Team