An Historical Overview
The DNA and protein sequence databases are the lifeblood of Molecular
Biology. By compiling sequence and functional information, biosequence
databases allow for the integration
of biological knowledge. Without these databases research in modern Molecular
Biology can not be carried out. Although their massive use is relatively
recent, biosequence databases have a rather long history---The first
compilation of protein sequences is thirty years old. We will start this
lesson, thus, with a brief overview of the history of the sequence databases,
which will lead us from the first printed atlas by Dayhoff and coworkers in
1965, to the efforts
leading to the establishment of the computer nucleic acid databases at
Los Alamos and at the EMBL in the early 1980s. And from there,
to the electronic submission of sequences, and to the integration of
heterogenous databases. Next, we will take a look at the major sequence
databases. How the information is organized, how can we access it, and how
can we submitt our own informtation. In addition to the primary sequence
databases, a pletora of specialized databases exist. We will also take a
brief look and the information contained in them. We will explore
a few recently developed tool to access information across different
sequence databases and to "navigate" between them.
We will finally discuss a number of problems associated
with the development of the genomic projects and an even faster rate of
- AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
- THE PRIMARY DATABASES: STRUCTURE, BROWSING AND SUBMITTING
- The Nucleid Acid Sequence databases
- The Protein Sequence Databases
- The Protein Structure Database PDB
- THE DERIVED DATABASES
- Issue on Databases, Nucleic Acids Research 26:1-389
- BROWSING AND QUERYING ACROSS DATABASES
- THE DATA IN THE GENOME PROJECTS
- Smith T.F.
"The History of the Genetic Sequence Databases."
Genomics 6:701-707 (1990)
- Benton D.
"Bioinformatics - principles and potential of a new multidisciplinary tool."
Trends in Biotechnology 14:261-272 (1996)
Click here to access to the Sequence Databases Practical.