Saturday, September 10, 2005

NCBI's Wide World of Viruses

The rapidly increasing heap of sequence data filling up the NCBI database is making it tougher and tougher to find a specific sequence on demand. In my experience seaching for viral sequence, it's almost impossible to avoid getting back lots of irrelevant crap. Searching on "rhabdovirus" for example, the first hit is "Rattus norvegicus myxovirus (influenza virus) resistance 2 (Mx2), mRNA". Thankfully NCBI is working on a viral genomes resource where you can search a database consisting exclusively of virus and viroid sequence. Also cool is the taxonomy section where you can browse the database by species or family. Only problem is its not complete yet, but I'm definitely going to keep an eye on their progress as this will be super-useful.