New “gene” box search at UCSC Genome Browser

We were chatting with the UCSC Genome Browser team this week on another issue, and they mentioned the new “gene” search box they released today.  Now on some assemblies you can do a quicker search to find a gene of interest. Very handy–much faster to get to a gene you know.

On the regular Genome Browser gateway search, you’ll see a new choice next to the position search box:

Enter your text.  It searches for a gene symbol. Then you select the appropriate one.  And then it picks the “knownCanonical” from their UCSC Genes list, which is the best representative transcript.  (This means there may be others–some with different 5′ or 3′ ends, but this is the chosen one.  But you’ll get to the right region really fast and then you can look around.)  It enters the corresponding position in the position box, and you can submit to go there quickly on the browser–you skip the texty list of things that might match that you have to choose from.

If you enter a synonym you get a disambiguation page like you get if you type a gene symbol in the regular position box, I’m told.  But I haven’t run into that yet.

Nice feature.  I’ll use it for sure.

PS: Yes, we’ll update the freely available training materials (sponsored by UCSC) with that in our next round of updates.