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This Week in Nucleic Acids Research: Nov 22, 2017

Researchers from Germany and Switzerland present the panX, an online resource that brings together an automated pipeline for bacterial pan-genome analyses with a data visualization and analysis platform. The analytical side of the pipeline puts together strain-level phylogenies from SNPs in core genomes assembled from orthologous gene clusters, the team explained. The group demonstrated panX with simulated and real pan-genome datasets for species such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Prochlorococcus. "When paired with meta-information such as resistance, pathogenicity, sampling date, location, and co-morbidities, panX can help to study adaptation, spread, and transmission chains of pathogens," the authors note. 

A team from Argentina describes Target-Pathogen, an online pipeline and database established to tease potential drug development targets in pathogen genomes based on integrated, weighted analyses of features ranging from sequence essentiality to protein predictions. The Target-Pathogen database currently contains genomes for at least 10 human pathogens, including those behind diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and dysentery. "By integrating and weighting the data, focusing on essentiality, metabolic role, and structural druggability prediction of proteins, Target-Pathogen facilitates the identification and prioritization of candidate targets suitable for new drug development projects," the authors explain.

Finally, researchers in China report on the PGG.Population database — a resource designed to bring together genomes from populations around the world to better define human genome diversity, genetic ancestry, and population-related variation. So far, the team notes that the PGG.Population database contains integrated array and/or next-generation sequence data for more than 7,100 human genomes, including representatives from 356 populations in 107 countries. "The long-term ambition of the PGG.Population, together with joint efforts from other researchers who contribute their data to our database, is to create a comprehensive depository of geographic and ethnic variation of [the] human genome," the authors say, "as well as a platform bringing influence on future practitioners of medicine and clinical investigators."