Microarrays, next-generation sequencing, and genomic screening technologies have enabled researchers to perform experiments on genome-wide scale. These highly-parallel technologies allow researchers to quickly generate candidate gene lists. However, prioritizing those gene lists for follow up testing is still a manual process. This challenge is particularly daunting when gene lists are often dominated by genes which are unfamiliar to any single researcher.
This fragmented landscape of gene annotation resources is clearly cumbersome for end users. Visiting multiple sites for every gene is time-consuming and laborious. Moreover, continuously staying abreast of all the relevant resources is an impossible task. This fragmented state of gene annotation is also cumbersome for developers of bioinformatics tools. Each site spends significant effort duplicating data and features of existing sites instead of focusing on their new and novel content.
To address these inefficiencies, we created a new gene annotation portal called BioGPS, which emphasizes two key design principles: user customizability and community extensibility. The focus on user customizability ensures that each user can easily access all the gene annotation resources that are most relevant to them, wehther they are a molecular biologist, a geneticist, or a systems biologist. The emphasis on community extensibility enables developers to easily integrate their novel data within the BioGPS platform.
BioGPS receives millions of hits per year, and is freely and publicly available at biogps.org.