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 BioGPS. The goal of BioGPS is pretty much the same, to provide an integrated portal which displays gene-centric annotation, including “annotation” based on reference gene expression data sets. To make the transition easier, we’ve tried to preserve the look and feel of the SymAtlas interface.

BioGPS also introduces some pretty cool new functionality. For example, most gene portals present gene reports to you in a way that reflects their own view of gene function. But BioGPS recognizes that molecular biologists are interested in different things than structural biologists, and human geneticists have different sources of data than mouse geneticists. Therefore, BioGPS allows each user to customize their gene report layout to correspond to how they want to see gene annotation.

To showcase this functionality, we’ve created a few default “layouts” that you can play around with. And yes, each plugin is contained in an independent window that can be moved and resized as you see fit. (You’ll need to sign up for a BioGPS account to save custom layouts.) Play around with it and let us know what you think…

We’ve also added new data sets that aren’t available in SymAtlas. In particular, check out the updated mouse GeneAtlas data set on the newer MOE430 chip, and also the mouse exon array atlas.

We want people to transition from SymAtlas to BioGPS on their own schedule, so we’re keeping both sites open for the time being. But eventually, SymAtlas will be retired. So if there’s a reason that you’re still clinging to SymAtlas we want to know why, and we’ll do our best to make BioGPS the better solution in all respects.