A Google-Powered Gene Sequence Web Search Engine

Yesterday, David Rothman shared an interesting application with me. Query Gene is a Google-powered search engine with which you can combine text and gene sequence fragment web searches. What can you do if you have a sequence and you’d like to know whether this sequence has ever been associated with genetic diseases?

Query Gene is a web-based program that searches for information about genetic sequences on the web. It is distinctive because it is not limited to a single database, but instead captures genetic information on the entire Internet using Google. Query Gene works by taking a gene sequence in combination with other search terms, finds similar sequences using NCBI’s MegaBlast, retrieves the descriptions of those matching genes from NCBI’s Entrez Nucleotide database, and performs a series of Google searches using the combination of your original search terms and each gene description.

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In their example, they inserted a nucleotide sequence and a search term (genetic disease associated with). This application identified the sequence as human hemoglobin beta and listed search results like sickle cell disease.

Isn’t it fantastic?