The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic presents a serious challenge to healthcare, economies and societies across the globe, one that has demanded an unprecedented scientific response. Projects across multiple disciplines are now re-directing their usual analytical efforts to meet this challenge head-on, and GENCODE are no exception. Our project produces human gene annotation, and we’re contributing to this scientific effort by re-examining human genes that may be relevant to viral infection and COVID-19 disease. We hope this work will support further research along these lines. For example, updated gene annotation could benefit studies to find disease-linked variants in patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms, including work by Genomics England and others.

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We’re pleased to announce the release of Ensembl 99, and the corresponding release of Ensembl Genomes 46. Along with updates of human gene annotation and variation data, we have a menagerie of new and updated vertebrate species in Ensembl plus a whole set of new plants, mosquitos and flies in Ensembl Genomes.

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We will make changes to the directory layouts of both the Ensembl Genomes FTP server (ftp://ftp.ensemblgenomes.org/pub/) and the Ensembl GRCh37 FTP server (ftp://ftp.ensemblorg.ebi.ac.uk/pub/grch37/) that may affect your pipelines. These changes will come into effect in Ensembl Genomes release 43/Ensembl release 96, which are scheduled for April 2019. Here are the details, so that you can plan any required updates to existing scripts and pipelines ahead of the releases.
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In the next release of Ensembl (Ensembl 96) we will remove our ontology database patching scripts from the main Ensembl repository.

There is now a dedicated module using the EBI OLS service to load Ensembl required ontologies. Considering this module is now in charge of loading the required data, the previous databases patches have been moved to the ols-ensembl-loader repository.

If you need to update your system with future patches, please now refer to the ols-ensembl-loader repository sql directory where files are already available.

Please contact the Ensembl Helpdesk if you have any questions or want to find out more about how this might affect your work.