NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has created a genomics informatics tool that will allow researchers to visualize genomic information, and has made it publicly available for free, Broad said today.
The Integrative Genomics Viewer was developed to help researchers find effective ways to visualize the “vast amounts of diverse genomic data” that scientists are accumulating with “ever increasing speed,” according to the institute. It can incorporate multiple types of genomic data and allows researchers to view them at various levels of resolution.
"This new tool offers a Google Maps-like view of integrative genomic data," said Jill Mesirov, chief informatics officer and director of computational biology and bioinformatics at the institute.
Broad said it allows researchers a “street view” of proteins that make up the genome, and they can visualize layers of information about gene expression, sequence alterations, mutations, and other genomic details such as copy number variation, chromatin immunoprecipitation data, and epigenetic modifications.
"Other tools offer detailed, localized views of genomic data, and a few tools are equipped to provide a whole genome view," Broad software engineer Jim Robinson said in a statement. But, Robinson added, “IGV was designed to integrate both and to provide smooth zooming and panning across all resolution scales."
The IGV allows these kinds of data to be overlaid or superimposed to help determine how changes at one level can affect another.
There are various display options, and users may view data as a heat map, histogram, scatter plot, and other formats.
The IGV is available at Broad’s website.