What’s the Answer? (cancer data visualization tools)

This week’s highlighted question was less of a question than a notice about a new tool. And because I’m always interested in exploring new visualization tools, I was interested to have a look. In addition, we are frequently asked about tools specific for cancer genomics, and I like to be able to tell people about what I’ve found.

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). Thursdays 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.

So here’s this week’s highlighted question (well, the question mark was edited out later, but this is what it said when I grabbed it):

Tool: A new tool for cancer researcher developed by UCSC?

Another tool XENA that comes to the world of Bioinforamatics designed by UCSC. I am not sure if people are aware of it. It is developed recently and I got the notification last evening. Seems to be having a lot of potential for both data visualization and also producing quality images for publication. The paper is not yet out but the mention of the tool was done last year when the update paper of the UCSC Cancer Genomics browser was made for 2015.

The tool has got data from both TCGA and ICGC and is a powerful resource not only for public data comparing and viewing but also one can upload its own data or download the tool locally to a desktop app version and visualize it. The tool is available at the below link

The technical doc is here . Am sure it will be a great resource for the researchers and bioinformaticians across the globe. For analysis it also integrates the galaxy as well and if you format your data in a version as mentioned in help docs one can view their data as well. Enjoy and appreciate the work. Hope people would like it.


I am not involved in the work. I liked the tool a lot so thought of informing it to the community


It also generated a bit of discussion about the challenges of developing visualizations. Go have a look.