The latest SIB Profile 2016 / Annual Report 2015 is out

SIB’s scope of activities continues to grow in all fields of bioinformatics – from proteomics and genomics, to metabolomics and the crucial domain of personalized health. Find out all our 2015 highlights in our latest annual report.

Dramatically dynamic genomic evolution of a mighty mite

Sequencing and comparative analysis of the genome of the Western Orchard predatory mite has revealed intriguingly-extreme genomic evolutionary dynamics through an international research effort co-led by scientists from the University of Geneva and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

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Christophe Dessimoz – Orthology: you can’t improve what you can’t measure

Standardized benchmarking in the quest for orthologs, Nature Methods, advanced online publication April 2016, doi:10.1038/nmeth.3830

A lot of effort is put into designing methods to find genes – known as orthologs – that are directly related in different species. Unearthing orthologs is essential for many comparative, evolutionary and functional genomic analyses, and the higher the accuracy the better the analyses.

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Tracking the “social networks” of genes disrupted in complex diseases - EN|FR

Your personal risk of developing complex diseases such as diabetes, depression or cancer is influenced in part by genetic variants, that is, letters in your DNA sequence that differ between people. These variants disrupt networks of interacting genes in different tissues of your body, two studies published in Nature Methods and PLoS Computational Biology found.

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Latest Protein Spotlight issue: A tighter mesh

A fabric whose weave is slack is less resistant to strain than one whose knit is close. These physical principles of toughness are followed by Nature all the way down the molecular scale. At the cellular level, protrusions known as microvilli grow at the apical end of the epithelial cells that line the intestinal tract.

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Ärzte der Zukunft – das HUG als Vorreiter / Les médecins du futur – les HUG pionniers [DE|FR]

Das Universitätsspital Genf (HUG) hat mit dem SIB Schweizerischen Institut für Bioinformatik eine Vereinbahrung abgeschlossen, die es ihm erlaubt, auf dem Gebiet der personalisierten Medizin eine Vorreiterrolle einzunehmen.

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The Metagenomic Pizza: a simple recipe to introduce bioinformatics to the layman

A description of one of SIB's most popular workshops - The Metagenomic Pizza - to present the world of bioinformatics to the layman and students has just been published in EMBnet.journal.

The Challenges of Swiss-Prot: An interview with Ioannis Xenarios

With the current exponential growth of biomedical data, there is a crucial need to organize and check them, as well as make them accessible to both humans and computers. This activity is called biocuration. Online biocurated databases play a central role in the whole process. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Swiss-Prot, the curated section of the UniProt Knowledgebase Ioannis Xenarios, Head of the Swiss-Prot group at SIB, has been asked about the current and future challenges for the knowledgebase and for his group.

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Genetic test allows reducing the use of chemotherapy in early-stage breast cancer patients

Genomic risk profiling lies at the heart of personalized management of cancer. The MINDACT study showed that nearly 50% of patients with early-stage breast cancer, who were considered at high risk for disease recurrence based on standard clinical and biological criteria, had no clinically relevant chemotherapy benefit.

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Today: Role and place of the Swiss-Prot database and the SIB Swiss-Prot group

A gold standard for protein knowledge

UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot is an expertly curated and very low-redundant protein knowledgebase originally created in 1986 under the name of Swiss-Prot, and now part of the UniProt Knowledgebase which was established in 2002.

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Geneva brings together international experts in biocuration, a fast-growing field that plays a key role in biomedical research

The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics has been selected by the International Society for Biocuration to host the 9th International Biocuration Conference in Geneva at the Campus Biotech on 10-14 April.

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Latest Protein Spotlight issue: Discerning change

Outside, clouds glide across the horizon. A man on the street below seems in a hurry. Two cars and a lorry drive past him. And a sparrow lands on the windowsill. As you get up to see it closer, a pencil rolls off the end of the table and falls to the floor. None of this may seem particularly eventful to you but it does take a very intricate network of cells to process the surrounding information so that you can see it all happening.

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The “Uniprot” generation of SIB biocurators: some views

The “UniProt” generation

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the gold-standard knowledgebase is a time to honour the first generation of Swiss-Prot curators who were part of the creation of the resource, but also to listen to those who joined the ship ten years ago: the “UniProt” generation.

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A history of Swiss-Prot


In the late 70s, DNA and protein sequences started being produced quite easily and with them came the need for storage and analysis tools.

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