OpenHelix today announced the launch of the new www.openhelix.com web site, a first-of-its kind portal that assists researchers in conducting breakthrough research. The portal directs scientists to the most relevant publicly available bioinformatics and genomics resources on the web, and then gives them immediate access to tutorials, training materials, and useful tips and information developed by OpenHelix.
“There are now thousands of databases and analysis tools for the researcher to use when doing biological research,” said Scott Lathe, CEO of OpenHelix, “The first problem researchers have is just finding the most relevant tool. There are catalogs of resources on the web, but they are cumbersome to use and using a keyword search on them more often than not delivers irrelevant results. The OpenHelix portal solves this problem”
The OpenHelix portal searches a highly relevant, curated database of genomics and biological resources, OpenHelix tutorials and training materials, and tips and information on the resources on the OpenHelix blog. The portal delivers a list of relevant resources for the user using a proprietary relevancy system developed by OpenHelix scientists. Once a user finds the most relevant resources in the results, they can immediately go to training on the resource.
Searching for the most relevant resource is free to all users. Some of the tutorial suites are also free, as they are sponsored by the resources themselves, such as the UCSC Genome Browser.
“The second, and possibly most significant problem a researcher faces is learning how to use these often complex and changing resources”, explained Lathe “Since OpenHelix has multiple trainers all having PhDs in biological sciences, intimate knowledge of the resources, and having years of experience with on-site and online training, we have a unique ability to provide the solution to this problem.”
With an OpenHelix individual or institution subscription, users can access the complete catalog of OpenHelix tutorial suites, over 80 currently, in categories including pathways, expression, variation, literature and general databases. These tutorials are continuously updated each month with new tutorials added frequently. (For a complete catalog, go to http://www.openhelix.com/cgi/tutorials.cgi)
With a subscription, scientists quickly learn how to use the tools they need when they need them. The online narrated tutorial, which runs in just about any browser, can be viewed from beginning to end or navigated using chapters and forward and backward sliders. The 30-60 minute tutorials highlight and explain all the features and functionality needed to start using the resource effectively. The tutorials are used to introduce a new resource, to view new features and functionality, or simply as a reference tool to refresh a users knowledge on a resource.
In addition to the tutorials, subscribers also receive useful training materials including the animated PowerPoint slides used as a basis for the tutorial, suggested script for the slides, slide handouts, and exercises. This can save a tremendous amount time and effort for teachers and professors to create classroom content.
The new portal was partially funded by NHGRI grant 3R44HG004531.
OpenHelix, LLC, (www.openhelix.com) provides the genomics knowledge you need when you need it. OpenHelix provides a bioinformatics and genomics search and training portal, giving researchers one place to find and learn how to use resources and databases on the web. More efficient use of the most relevant resources means quicker and more effective research.