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About the EBI Edit

The European Bioinformatics Institute is a publicly accessible database that maintains and distributes genetic, protein, and chemical information. The majority of the information found through this database is derived from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), which specializes in nucleotide sequence data. Established in 1980 and located in Heidelberg, Germany, the EMBL was the world's first nucleotide sequence database. The original purpose for creating the EMBL was to establish a central computer database of DNA sequences to supplement submissions written to journals and various research papers. Upon the start of the genome projects in 1990, the modest task of abstracting information from literature became more involved with direct electronic submissions of data, and therefore required a more skilled informatics staff. As the database grew, the information provided became more relevant to sectors involved in commercial research.

The growth of the EMBL operation was a result of demand for research and development to provide services, and to collaborate with global partners to support various projects. This expansion proved to provide assistance to the commercial research industry, and therefore in 1992, the EMBL council voted to establish the European Bioinformatics Institute located at the Wellcome Trust Genome campus in the United Kingdom where it remained until 1995. The EMBL-EBI then moved to Hinxton, where it hosted a database for nucleotide sequences, and one for protein sequences. As of now, the EMBL-EBI is considered Europe's largest and primary nucleotide sequence data resource. It has become diversified in all the major molecular domains, and is currently considered a base for general research in the field of genetics and genomics.

Using the EBI Edit

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The EBI's website page contains a generic search bar where an individual can find a gene, protein, or specific chemical of interest. Searching for something such as the TAO protein will show results in various fields of study. On the left side of the screenshot, there is a results filter for categories related to the TAO protein such as its genome, nucleotide sequences, macromolecular structures, gene expressions, etc. Based on the research being done, the search results can be restricted to these various fields. The main page will also list the most popular, and or most relevant resources in the various categories based on the search.

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A Screanshot displaying the nucleotide sequence for the CCDS gene in the TAO Kinase One protein

If a person were interested in the nucleotide sequence of TAO kinase one for example, they would click on the genome resource link, and be brought to a page with links containing information specific to TAO kinase one. To look directly at the nucleotide sequences for this protein kinase, one would click the external link on the left side of the screen and would select a specific sequence of interest. By clicking on a sequence, a direct link will display information based on that sequence such as chromosomal locations for the gene, nucleotide and protein IDs, and the entire nucleotide sequence. This database is very detailed, and therefore the amount of information presented can seem overwhelming. Filtering searches is the best way to find information most relevant to the desired topic and weed out information that is not needed.

Resources Edit

1. Rodriguez-Tome, Patricia. "The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) Databases." Nucleic Acids Research. Oxford Journals, n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2014. http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/1/6.full

2. "European Bioinformatics Institute." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Aug. 2014. Web. 07 Sept. 2014. [[1]]