My Web services/portals

A note on my attempts to organize and manage knowledge environments in life sciences...

Custom Search Engines - harnessing the power of internet search

All of us know the pervading nature of search engines on the internet and other technologies that have mushroomed from this. I have been a fan of free codes provided by Google (who isnt!!!!) and have used this to create some custom search engines. It started of by creating a Google API where one can input biological sequence data (DNA, RNA and Protein) and search the entire world wide web. 

This engine is called Instaseq and recieves many visitors from around the world. This prompted me to play around more with these 'custom search engines' and I developed some useful sites. Please feel free to use them...

  • Webseq - This is Google CSE curated to gather information from all major public databases, products of Biotech companies, Grants from funding institutions, even jobs and careers. The user has to feed in search keywords and the results are classified from all these portals.
  • g-nomics - This is a specialized version of job search engine for research scientists with search results gathered from major science jobs portals. Another specialized version of this engine returns job search-results from all of craigslist (only biotech/science related). Results are classified from major cities.
  • Cancer research - Gene, drug, mutations... - A Search engine for established mutations, drugs, treatments and clinical trials in regard to all forms of cancers.

Sequence Profiling Tool - a concept driven sequence analysis website

Sequerome represents my seed attempt to present a seamless interface to work with biological sequence data and connect to third party sequence analysis tools/servers. Though there may seem to exist tools like these, it is the concept around which it is designed, that makes it unique and special. This service, in my knowledge, is the first sequence profiling tool in the world that actually 'integrates' third party web based sequence analysis services/tools into one seamless interface. 

What is unique about about this online tool is that, the results from a sequence alignment report carried out using NCBI-BLAST are linked to all the online analysis tools supporting the output from NCBI-BLAST. For example you can choose a 13th record in the report and digest it with all the known restriction enzymes or carry out a pattern analysis on a given sequence - all from the results of a sequence alignment report. This concept of being able to fully exploit the value of the results of an alignment report, I feel, has not been addressed adequately ,and remains a key to any research investigator working on any gene or protein of interest.

The service was received very well by the research community from around the world and has been linked to major Bioinformatics portals. 

From an analysis tool to a research portal - bringing researchers together on a common platform

I wanted to expand the possibilities further. So, with the help and support of few of my friends and colleagues , I went ahead to lead the creation of this full fledged bioinformatics web portal called Sequilab. I wanted this portal to be for, both, a new researcher working in a lab with little exposure to using sequence analysis and manipulation tools, while also making it more convenient for advanced users working on multiple projects. Together with my team, we came up with this totally new concept and design of a research portal that would make Sequilab a one-stop portal for a life science research professional. 

Now any new researcher in the world can connect, not only, to a whole repository of sequence analysis tools and databases but also connect with his/her peers working in the same or related fields. The portal offers connections to some major sequence analysis tools databases. One can also design primers, siRNA, work with Vector sequences, carry out epitope analysis for antibody generation and much more. These third party services are conveniently available as 'toolbars' OR, using the enlisted services you can even create your own small collection of personal 'toolbars'! I think that's cool and a never-before offered feature. 

After you are just done with your latest project and are looking for ways to reach out to your community in the portal, you can do even more... This could be either getting the latest articles from top journals, updates from major conferences, or updating your latest research achievements, or even reaching out to other users through discussion forums. You have to visit this portal to actually experience this. Its the latest in the vibrantly growing community of researchers who can actually 'collaborate' with each other in one platform. Again, I have kept the services completely FREE. 

Since it has gone live online, Sequilab has been visited and accessed by researchers from all over the world. It has been covered favorably by users, bloggers and press alike (you can also check out what others are saying). This portal, in my knowledge, is the first and the only one in the world that integrates sequence based research and user collaboration in one interface while maintaining your own workspace. Yup! you can even have a small collection of your own 'notes and tips'. 

This has been a group effort and the site is still evolving into a more robust interface. I hope to add more features and services. You can follow the updates on your homepage in the portal or through social media networks (yes! facebook, twitter and all that...).  

and finally...

The world of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology is flooded with countless number of web based services that provide nifty little 'gadgets', 'tools' and 'repositories'. Add to it, you have allied fields like 'Biomedical informatics' and 'Health Informatics' which are not far behind.  However there are very little online 'data profiling interfaces' that allow you to assemble the results from such analyses and work in a collaborative environment. Its like having lots of useful kitchen tools and accessories without having a kitchen itself. Yes... you have many sites that provide link to all such services. But thats what they are... just 'links' that take you away as opposed to bringing in the results from those very links into one working interface, and even allow online collaboration. That is what I truly call 'A web portal'. 

Through 'Sequilab', my aim is to provide one common platform for all research professionals in life sciences, and aid them in making greater discoveries.