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Downloads and Upgrades: UCSC Genome Browser Group and Opal 1.7


The genome browser group at the University of California, Santa Cruz has released an updated genes track for the human genome browser. The new release has 82,960 total transcripts, compared with 80,922 in the previous version and the total number of canonical genes has increased from 31,227 to 31,848.

The group has also released assembly data hubs, which extend the functionality of track data hubs to assemblies that are not hosted natively on the browser. These hubs were developed to help researchers annotate sequences for which UCSC does not provide an annotation database. They let users include the underlying reference sequence, as well as data tracks that annotate that sequence. Sequences are stored in the UCSC twoBit format, and the annotation tracks are stored in the same manner as track data hubs.

Omicia has released version 1.7 of Opal, its cloud-based genome interpretation software.

Opal offers tools to analyze genomes and prioritize disease-causing variants and genes. These include a pipeline that lets users assess and compare the quality of genome variant files, methods to filter out polymorphic genes, and a reporting tool that lets users share results.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.