At the Biocuration meeting that I attended back in April, Jim Ostell of NCBI announced that they would soon be releasing a new resource on biological networks. A few weeks ago a friend alerted me that NCBI had released their new BioSystems resource (thanks for the heads-up, Cyndy!) BioSystems is a cool resource that take nice advantage of the interconnectedness of all of NCBI’s Entrez resources to give great pathway information – either species-specific pathways or general pathways with extensive links to other NCBI databases as well as outside resources. NCBI describes their new resource (in part) like this:
A number of databases, such as KEGG and BioCyc, provide diagrams showing the components and products of biological pathways along with corresponding annotations and links to literature. The NCBI BioSystems Database was developed as a collaborative and complementary project to (1) serve as a centralized repository of data; (2) connect the biosystem records with associated literature, molecular, and chemical data throughout the Entrez system; and (3) facilitate computation on biosystems data.
There is NO WAY I can cover all that BioSystems has to offer in this 5 minute tip, but fear not – not only is NCBI’s documentation on BioSystems quite nice, we here at OpenHelix are already at work on a full BioSystems tutorial! We’ll keep you posted on that project, but for now – enjoy the tip & check out the resource for yourself when you’ve got some time.