By Scott Lathe, OpenHelix
The University of California, Santa Cruz Bioinformatics Group and OpenHelix today announced the availability of free updated tutorial suites on the UCSC Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/), a powerful and popular freely available web-based tool for mining genomic data. The two updated tutorial suites include a general Introduction to the Genome Browser and an Introduction to Custom Tracks and the Table Browser. Also available is an introduction to additional tools available, including Gene Sorter and VisiGene.
UCSC Genome Browser is a research tool that integrates the work of hundreds of scientists worldwide into a graphical display of genome sequences and aligned annotations. The Genome Browser–originally developed to assist in the initial assembly of the human genome — now features a rich set of annotations on a multitude of genomes. Increasingly it is crucial to master software tools like the UCSC Genome Browser and Table Browser, as “big data” biomedical research projects continue to generate volumes of data that are simply too large to include in traditional literature. That data resides in the databases–sometimes even long before publication of the project papers ensues.
The tutorial suites, created and maintained by OpenHelix (http://www.openhelix.com), include an online, narrated tutorial, which runs in just about any browser connected to the web and can be viewed from beginning to end or navigated using chapters and forward and backward sliders. The approximately 60 minute tutorials highlight and explain all the features and functionality needed to start using the Genome Browser and its tools effectively. The tutorial also includes a step-by-step movie which walks the user through an exercise using the tools of the Genome Browser. The tutorial can be used to learn how to use the Genome Browser, to view new features and functionality, or simply as a reference tool to refresh users’ memory.
Also included with each tutorial is a suite of training materials, including PowerPoint slides used as a basis for the tutorial, with a suggested script for the slides, slide handouts, and exercises. These materials can be used as reference for users or as a ready-made presentation for training others on the use of the Genome Browser.
The tutorial suites are used in many ways, including:
- Researchers use the tutorial suites to learn how to use new or unfamiliar genomics resources they need as their work progresses.
- Faculty and Staff use the tutorial suites to keep abreast of resources and technology, and as an excellent staff training and career development tool.
- Faculty use the tutorial suites to save significant time in creating classroom content and to augment in-class learning.
- Librarians and Bioinformaticians use the tutorial suites to provide their customers with basic resource training, allowing them to save their valuable time for more advanced user issues.
You can view the updated UCSC Genome Browser tutorials suites at http://www.openhelix.com/ucsc OpenHelix provides over 100 other tutorial suites on a number of genomic databases and resources through an individual, group, or institutional subscription. Further information can be found at http://www.openhelix.com.
OpenHelix, LLC, (http://www.openhelix.com) provides online self-run tutorials and on-site training for institutions and companies on the most powerful and popular free, web based, publicly accessible bioinformatics resources. In addition, OpenHelix is contracted by resource providers to provide comprehensive, long-term training and outreach programs.
About UCSC Bioinformatics Group
The UCSC Bioinformatics Group is part of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering (CBSE) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Director and HHMI investigator David Haussler leads a team of scientists, engineers and students in the study and comparative analysis of mammalian and model organism genomes. Research Scientist Jim Kent heads up the engineering team that develops and maintains the UCSC Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu), a research tool that integrates the work of hundreds of scientists worldwide into a graphical display of genome sequences and aligned annotations. The Genome Browser–originally developed to assist in the initial assembly of the human genome–now features a rich set of annotations on a multitude of mammalian and model organism genomes. The UCSC Bioinformatics Group continues to uphold its original mission to provide free, unrestricted public access to genome data on the Web.