80% duplication, 20% innovation

As we develop BioGPS, many people have asked, why develop another gene portal? With all the already-existing websites that display gene annotation, where does BioGPS fit into this crowded landscape? I think this question begs a closer look at why there are so many gene portals in existence to begin with. Suppose you are interested in learning all that is known about the classic cell-cycle gene...
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Is application stagnation useful?

In my last post about the Law of Inevitable Stagnation, I proposed that many (most?) web-based scientific applications eventually go stale. I mentioned this to a colleague and SymAtlas user recently, and he had an interesting suggestion. He wondered if SymAtlas wasn’t so popular because it was stagnant. The implication of course is that we developers sometimes get overzealous in pursuing...
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SymAtlas and the Law of Inevitable Stagnation

GNF has maintained the very popular SymAtlas gene portal for many years now. Given the success of that site, what motivated us to start anew and create BioGPS? The answer is simple and can be described by what I’ll call the Law of Inevitable Stagnation. Let me explain… I think many successful web sites (especially in bioinformatics) follow the same general lifecycle. Over time, the...
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The future of SymAtlas

We know that we have a pretty loyal base of SymAtlas users. And it’s because of that knowledge that we don’t tread lightly on making changes to this well-used resource. But SymAtlas is getting a bit long in the tooth, and at some point in the foreseeable future it will have to be retired. Thankfully, we’ve been planning its successor for quite some time, and that successor is...
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What is BioGPS?

BioGPS is our new gene annotation portal. As mentioned previously, the unique feature of BioGPS will be its unwavering commitment to the Long Tail. If you’re passionate about the concept of the Long Tail as I’ve grown to become, you can certainly spend long hours reading up on the subject. But on a practical level, our focus on the Long Tail means two things for users of our BioGPS...
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