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This Week in Nucleic Acids Research: Nov 23, 2016

A team from Germany and China outlines updates to the Online Gene Essentiality, or OGEE, in the second version of the database. In addition to fleshing out essential, non-essential, and conditionally essential gene data gleaned from experiments, text mining, and genetic interactions for new species, the researchers have now included information on essential genes in 16 cancer cell line datasets corresponding with nine cancer types. The authors argue that the essential genes in cell lines resembling tumors "could be further screened to identify targets for cancer therapy and/or new drug development."

Members of the FlyBase Consortium provide an update on the Drosophila resource as it reaches its first quarter century, while outlining features found in the latest iteration of the database. Along with the types of genetic and phenotypic information and tools available previously, the latest version of FlyBase contains a range of resources — from Drosophila datasets and insight on reagent to tutorials, visualization tools, and more. "In the interest of enhancing the accessibility of FlyBase to users outside our traditional community," the authors add, "we have incorporated new orthology data for Homo sapiens and eight model organisms, added a robust orthology search tool, and improved the display of orthology calls on FlyBase Gene Reports."

Finally, an international team led by investigators at the Joint Genome Institute's Department of Energy takes a look at a database called IMG/VR that contains sequence data for thousands of viruses, related metadata, and computational tools for integrating searching, and analyzing these sequences. The integrated viral analysis tool is part of a broader "integrated microbial genomes with microbiome samples, or IMG/M, data management system, the researchers note. The IMG/VT currently contains information on more than 3,900 DNA virus reference isolates, more than 6,000 metagenomic samples, host predictions, and so on. "We anticipate that IMG/VR will become a reference resource for sequence analysis of viral genomes and viral contigs derived from metagenomic samples," they write.