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Biology 11A Research Project: Biological Databases

Biological Databases

Biological databases are a way for scientists from across the globe to organize and share their data. These types of collaboration have been an integral part of the molecular biology field and most of this data is publicly available for anyone to search for free. 

When you are looking for information on your gene(s), it is important to choose the correct database, based on the kind of information you are looking for. For example, do you want to know the sequence of your gene? Or where you might find the protein in the human body? Once you know what kind of information you want to find, begin exploring the database. Some of the databases are more user friendly that others. If you get stuck, reach out to your instructor, who would be thrilled to pour over some molecular data with you.

  • GenBank: GenBank is an annotated collection of all publicly available DNA sequences. 
  • FlyBase: FlyBase is a database of Drosophila genes and genomes.
  • The Human Protein Atlas: HPA is an extensive database aimed at mapping human proteins.
  • OMIM: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man: OMIM is an online catalog of human genes and genetic disorders.
  • KEGG Pathway Database: KEGG is a collection of manually drawn pathway maps, representing our knowledge of the molecular interaction, reaction and relation networks.

Search Tips for Websites

Whether you're searching these databases or search engines like Google, there are usually instructions and tutorials available to help you learn about how best to search in order to get the results you are trying to find. The databases to the left are no exception and they all have information or tutorials on how to best search their database.