The recent explosive growth of biological data has lead to a rapid increase in the number of molecular biology databases. Held in many different locations and often using varying interfaces and non-standard data formats, integrating and comparing data from these multiple databases can be difficult and time-consuming. This book provides an overview of the key tools currently available for large-scale comparisons of gene sequences and annotations, focusing on the databases and tools from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), Ensembl, and the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Written specifically for biology and bioinformatics students and researchers, it aims to give an appreciation of the methods by which the browsers and their databases are constructed, enabling readers to determine which tool is the most appropriate for their requirements. Each chapter contains a summary and exercises to aid understanding and promote effective use of these important tools.
'The book would suit a bioinformatician wishing to gain an introduction into genome database querying and interaction.' Microbiology Today
'… provides a step-by-step account of how most commonly-used databases are compiled and updated, their applications and practical examples of how to use them. It is suitable for graduates and advanced undergraduates in bioinformatics or biology, or any researcher intent on exploiting the capabilities of databases as research tools more fully. … the great strength of this book is its focus on basic concepts, with an emphasis on how to obtain information, enabling the reader to find new things out for themselves.' Journal of Biological Education