Functional genomics data from DANIO-CODE has been released to the public. This international effort, similar to ENCODE in human and mouse, seeks to characterise the functional elements in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) genome. Announced on Saturday at the International Zebrafish Conference, the DANIO-CODE dataset exists as a track hub, which can be viewed in Ensembl.

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Trixie the Triceratops

Ensembl produce high quality gene annotation for a number of species, but getting it to the high quality we expect takes time. This means there are many species and strains where we don’t have annotation yet. If you’re working with a species without Ensembl annotation (like Trixie the Triceratops here) or even a specific strain that we don’t have, you can still make use of VEP for predicting the effect of variants on genes and transcripts, using your own annotation. All you need is a GFF or GTF of the transcripts, and a FASTA file of the genome.

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One of the biggest headaches when working with insertions and deletions is how many different ways you can represent the same variant. If you’re looking to find out if there’s already known allele frequencies or phenotypes at a locus, you want to make sure that you find the right one. The VEP can take that headache away through normalisation of variants.

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Some Variant Effect Predictor (VEP) jobs are small, just ten or fewer variants, and that’s easy. Some VEP jobs are big, if you do variant calling on one whole human genome, that’s five million variants! The more variants you have, the more computing power the VEP needs to process them, which can make it slow. But there are ways to speed it up.

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We think conferences are great opportunities to use talks and posters to tell people about all the cool stuff we’re developing, provide training with workshops and learn more about what’s going on in our fields of interest. Ensembl team members attend many conferences a year and 2018 is no exception, we’re planning to attend twenty (so far)!

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We’re holding an Ensembl Perl API course at the Genome Campus in the UK in April. The course give you chance to learn how to access the database directly from the people who produce the databases and write the APIs themselves. It is aimed at bioinformaticians and wet-lab scientists who are familiar with Object Oriented Perl.

This four-day course costs only £140, which includes daily transport to the campus from Cambridge city centre and refreshments (the fee is to cover only these expenses).

Please visit the course page for more details on the content and how to apply.