What’s the Answer? (consumer genome browser)

BioStars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the Biostars_logo community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at BioStars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at BioStars.

We recently attended the BioIT World conference, and we had numerous interesting conversations at our booth. It’s not a conference we’ve gone to before because we have been trying to talk with end users of software tools at academic meetings more often, but it was also great to have a chance to talk to folks in roles supporting end users to hear how much training their users need. But there was an entirely different chat with someone who was looking for a lightweight genome browser that’s more appropriate for consumers rather than researchers. Seemed a fair question to me, so I have also raised it at Biostars this week.

Question: Is there a “consumer” level genome browser?

At the #BioITWorld14 conference last week, this question came up a couple of times. Here it was during John Quackenbush’s talk:


A few years back I test drove the Enlis browser (http://www.enlis.com/) and I thought that was a nice one for people who might be new to 23andme data. But that looks to have changed to a more heavy-lifting direction now.

Have you seen a good browser for non-biologist end users? What would you recommend?


This is a more advanced version than the one I remember trying out, but I liked it very much. Via the Enlis video page, it’s the ASHG labeled one:

So let me know here or at Biostars if you have other ideas about a consumer-level browser where you could upload your own sequence or SNPs, not tied to a specific data provider, that people could use to poke around at their own data. I think that developers may be over-thinking what non-bio people need, and what they are capable of.