For over a decade, GeneCards has provided gene-centric information, automatically mined and integrated from amyriad of data sources, resulting in a web-based card for each of the tens of thousands of human gene entries.
The GeneCards database is developed and maintained in the Crown Human Genome Center at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel . Founded in 1997, the GeneCards project defined as its goal to integrate the fragments of information scattered over a variety of specialized databases into a coherent picture.
We now introduce GeneCards Version 4, featuring a novel infrastructure, and a new speedy and sophisticated search engine. As a result of these improvements, the GeneCards user can now perform improved and better targeted queries, and evaluate search results in a more effective and user friendly manner.
GeneCards Infrastructure and Database
In GeneCards Versions 2.xx, information is stored in flat files, one file per gene, all indexed to enable full-text searches. The hybrid system of versions 3.xx introduced a persistent object/relational model, attempting to model all of the data entities and relationships in an efficient manner so that the diverse functions of displaying single genes, extracting various slices of attributes of sets of genes, and performing well on both full text and field-specific searches are taken into account. However the database, search, and minicards were new, but the actual cards remained the same as those in Version 2, In version 4 the hybrid system is eliminated, moving to a robust infrustructure based entirely on a new and well defined relational databse.
Commercial users can have access to the relational database in collaboration with LifeMap Sciences, Inc.
Citing GeneCards in the Literature
Extracting Information About Many Genes
In addition to the detailed "card" view of individual genes, GeneCards provides two powerful tools for working with sets of genes, GeneAlaCart and GeneDecks:
- GeneALaCart accepts a list (batch) of gene symbols or identifiers, together with the user's selected data fields of interest (e.g. aliases, descriptions, proteins, disorders, publications, etc), and produces a tabulated file of annotations for the gene set. GeneALaCart is free for academic use but requires registration.
- GeneDecks exploits the new GeneCards relational database to enable complex analyses on sets of genes. GeneDecks features Partner hunter and Set distiller. In Partner hunter, users supply a probe gene, and the system finds putative functional paralogs, namely genes that are similar to the probe gene based on shared annotations. In Set distiller, users supply a set of genes, and the system finds the list of annotations that are shared by members of the given set.