As much of modern experimental biology uses discovery-based tools that return long lists of genes or proteins that are modulated under the experimental conditions tested, quickly retrieving information about these targets becomes critical. With this in mind, James Knight in the Gingras lab recently designed a browser extension called GIX (Gene Information eXtension), which provides information on genes and their protein products directly on any webpage. Selecting a gene name (or other supported identifiers) by double-clicking will return user-specified information that can include protein-protein interactions, subcellular localization, protein domains and regions, Gene Ontology terms, pathways, and disease associations. Eleven species are currently supported, and information is retrieved from multiple databases.
GIX is available for Chrome and Firefox (see gene-info.org for details and download links and gene-info.org/media/tutorial.mp4 for an instructional movie) and the manuscript was published on June 19th in Nature Methods (PMID:3127594). The extension has already been adopted by over 650 users, demonstrating its need within the scientific community.
This research was funded by CIHR, Genome Canada (through Ontario Genomics), the Government of Ontario and the NIH. The database and server for the extension are housed at Compute Canada.