Bioinformatics Discussion Group
I am curious to know if Openwetware can be used to discuss bioinformatics. In particular, the field of bioinformatics is maturing as more scientists become familiar with the various tools that are available via the Internet. However, this might be a good time to share ideas, either general or specific, about future needs in this field. To start this off, it seemed reasonable to me that I would mention an area that might benefit from further development:
Construction of web based query pages that can access multiple databases
As a biologist, I frequently would like to collect information about orthologs and paralogs in multiple species, as this frequently will help me formulate hypotheses. Of course, I realize that BLAST is an invaluable tool, but I frequently need to reach beyond NCBI entries to various model organism databases. One useful approach might be a web interface that is 'gene centric' and would allow me to select various target databases (MODs, NCBI, ENSEMBL etc.) for the input query. Perhaps the program could start with BLAST and identify orthologs and paralogs in various species of interest. I might also want the program to collect Gene Ontology terms from appropriate databases providing some insight into either known or predicted function. Finally, the program would launch a HUBMED search and collect references regarding the gene products. Finally, perhaps the results could be saved to a web page with hot links to the collected information.
The question I have is: Do you think such a resource would be valuable? If so, what other sort of information might you like to collect? What other applications would be useful for development?