Have you ever spent time changing your favourite Ensembl view (for example adding new tracks, changing the track order, or uploading custom data) and wished you could easily send the configured display to a colleague through one simple url? You can now do this on beta.ensembl.org.

Configurable images now have a link icon in their toolbars. If you click on this, it will give you a link to share with another user.

If you have any custom tracks turned on for the image, you will get the option to share these too (this is opt-in via checkboxes). This works with uploaded files, attached URLs, DAS and data hubs.

Custom tracks will only be shareable if they are displayed on the image (or in the case of data hubs, if any of the tracks in the hub are displayed).

If you send the url to a colleague, he/she will see the image configured in the same way that you have it.

You can also share configurations for a whole page by using the Share this page button in the left menu.

Please try it out. If you encounter any problems, please use the Feedback button on the beta site to tell us about them (or email ensembl-beta@sanger.ac.uk), making sure to include the link you are trying to share.

I am pleased to announce the release of a scrollable region view for Ensembl on beta.ensembl.org, available on species location pages (for example, here on Human chromosome 13) by clicking on the Scrollable region link in the navigation menu.

This view is powered by Genoverse, an HTML5 genome browser co-developed by the Ensembl and DECIPHER projects. As such it is only supported by modern browsers – recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and IE9.

The main features of this view are:

  • Drag the region image to scroll up and down the chromosome.
  • Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
  • Adjust track heights – certain tracks can be set to a fixed height of your choice, or to automatically expand or contract to fit all the features on the page.
  • Change the order tracks are displayed in.
  • Select a region using the toggle control or by holding down the shift key.

To begin with there are a limited set of tracks available on this view:

  • Contigs, sequence (under 1Kb), translated sequence (under 1Kb), start/stop codons (under 5Kb)
  • Markers
  • Misc regions & clones
  • Genes and transcripts
  • Synteny
  • All sources tracks for sequence variants  (under 10Kb) and structural variants (under 5Mb)
  • Chromosome bands and assembly exceptions

The expanded gene track style is only displayed under 1Mb, and the collapsed style only under 10Mb. If you have selected either of these, you will see the track style automatically change as you zoom in and out.

Please try it out and let us know what you think by using the Feedback tab. Development is still on-going, so we’d like to know both if you find any bugs, or if you have any suggestions for additional features you’d like to see.