Summary

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  • Why Ensembl? Ensembl aims to organise the vast amount of information in biological databases, and provide one point of access.
  • What is Ensembl? Ensembl provides a browser and underlying databases for annotation of mostly vertebrate genomes. Ensembl genes are based on mainly cDNA and protein evidence in scientific databases. The Ensembl annotation pipeline is combined with VEGA/Havana manual annotation for our major species (human, mouse, and zebrafish). Human and mouse gene sets also include the CCDS set. Comparative analyses, sequence variation, and regulatory features are all included in Ensembl.
  • Where do the data come from? The gene sets come from analyses described above. Whole genome alignments and homology are provided by comparative genomics analyses by the Ensembl team. Variants from dbSNP, COSMIC, and other projects are included. Finallly, the regulatory features result from Ensembl analyses of ENCODE data. 
  • How can you search Ensembl? You can search the Ensembl browser with gene names, symbols, IDs, genomic regions, variations, descriptions, and even diseases or phenotypes.
  • How is the data presented in Ensembl? Ensembl presents data in different ways. The information in Ensembl is split into separate tabs. The gene, transcript, location, variation, and regulation tabs centre the information on a particular gene, transcript, location, and so on. Each tab has specific displays that you can access from the left-hand menus.
  • How do I explore genomes with Ensembl? You can explore a region on a genome, a gene or a splice variant using the location, gene and transcript tabs. The left-hand menu on each tab leads you to more specific views.

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