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Discovering Bioinformatics Tools through the Health Sciences Library

by Kimberley Barker on 2019-05-02T10:54:25-04:00 | Comments


This article was written by Arian Abdulla, Ph.D, and edited by Kimberley R. Barker, MLIS.

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field which aids in understanding the creation of databases, analyses, and elucidation of biological data such as DNA, RNA, protein sequences, and various types of biological interactions and pathways.  At the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, we provide one-on-one consultations and workshops to get you started using bioinformatics tools, with a focus on a suite of National Center for Biotechnology Information resources (NCBI). NCBI provides access to dozens of databases, tools and reference materials, with Pubmed being the most heavily used. We provide guidance for the following NCBI resources:


Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) – Allows you to use a DNA, RNA or protein sequence to find similar sequences in the NCBI databases.

Gene – Data Centered Portal on a specific Gene, designed to aggregate gene-specific information from multiple perspectives including sequence, mapping, publications, and function of products, expression, evolution, and consequences of variation.

ClinVar – archive of reports of the relationships among human variations and phenotypes, with supporting evidence.

PubChem Bioassay: Tool that stores biological activity assay information and makes it possible to find experimentally measured targets for millions of chemicals.


In addition, we have a Bioinformatics Resources Guide where you will find resources to help you with your research and studies in this field.  For questions regarding these resources please contact Arian Abdulla at arian@virginia.edu

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