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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EMBL Launches Genomics Data Resource

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) has launched a genomics resource called the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) that consolidates three DNA and RNA sequence databases.

EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) will host the ENA resource, which is made up of the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database, the European Trace Archive, and the Sequence Read Archive (SRA).

The European Trace Archive, formerly maintained at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, contains raw data from electrophoresis-based sequencing machines, while the SRA is a new repository for raw data from next-generation, array-based sequencing platforms.

The ENA research team plans to launch new features for the resource over the coming year, including enhancements for the browser, improved interactive submissions tools and organism and project-centered portals into ENA data.

"ENA has been designed to provide our users with improved access both to annotated and to raw sequence data through the same user-friendly interface," Guy Cochrane, ENA's team leader, said in a statement.

"It provides graphical browsing, web services, text search, and a new rapid sequence similarity search. ENA also provides access to related information, with over 190 million cross references to external records, many of which are in other EMBL-EBI data resources," Cochrane added.

"As major generators of DNA sequence data, it is important to us that the research community has ready access not only to annotated sequence information, but also to raw data," Tim Hubbard, head of informatics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, added in the statement.

Funding for the ENA is provided by EMBL, the Wellcome Trust, and the European Commission's Framework Programme 7.

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