“What’s the answer?” thread

BioStar is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions. We are members of the community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at BioStar that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday* we will be highlighting one of those questions and answers here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at BioStar.

BioStar Question of the Week:

Often in these days of “big data” people are coming to us and asking what they should do with their big lists of stuff, in order to understand more about the functions of the items in their list. A question at BioStar tackled this:

Tools for visualizing overlap between GO terms

Some sibling GO categories are highly correlated. Is there any tool / webserver that would take a list of GO terms and show me a matrix of the fraction of shared genes in a particular species? Or at least a Venn diagramm for two or three GO terms?

For example, almost 1000 human genes are annotated as “cell cycle”, but the sum of the node counts is much higher. I’d like to see which categories are overlapping with each other.

Although there was no “selected” answer, the discussion offered a variety of strategies to go about these kinds of comparisons, including a couple of tools that were new to me. Go over there to check out the answers.