Tip of the week: Harvester, a "Swiss army knife" of bioinformatics

harvester.jpgThis week I’m going to introduce a tool that searches a whole bunch of resources for you with one single click. Harvester, from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, offers a really simple interface for searching. If your species is one of the ones collected in their search, you will find that Harvester will enable you to search a slew of databases with just one query–NCBI, UCSC, MINT, STRING and many others. The results will provide quick links to some databases, and some results pages will be embedded in one big web page that you can scroll down and overview really quickly. The embedded pages aren’t just summary text–they are the actual database pages in situ! You can see them and interact with them just as if you were on that site doing the search.

This 3 minute movie introduces you to Harvester. If you quickly need a summary of what’s in all the databases they collect, it is a very handy tool. It does remind me of a Swiss army knife–not earth shatteringly novel from an algorithmic perspective, but many useful tools pulled together in one place. Try it out!