Scrollable Genome Browsing

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.

3 thoughts on “Scrollable Genome Browsing

  1. A much welcome change which improves usability greatly. I’m a bit surprised, however, that the website currently still uses (dynamically loaded) images rather than rendering the images at the client-side using a <canvas> … this could reduce bandwidth load quite a bit. The Genoverse website *does* use canvas.

    • We are using canvas, but only for the bottom image on the page. The chromosome image is the same (static) image as it is on all other location pages. The Genoverse website uses exactly the same core code to generate its image as is used on beta.

  2. Pingback: Ensembl 69 has been released! | Ensembl Blog