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Open Access Research article

Integrating sequence and structural biology with DAS

Andreas Prlić1*, Thomas A Down3, Eugene Kulesha2, Robert D Finn1, Andreas Kähäri2 and Tim JP Hubbard1

Author Affiliations

1 The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

2 European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

3 Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK

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BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8:333  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-333

Published: 12 September 2007

Abstract

Background

The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) is a network protocol for exchanging biological data. It is frequently used to share annotations of genomes and protein sequence.

Results

Here we present several extensions to the current DAS 1.5 protocol. These provide new commands to share alignments, three dimensional molecular structure data, add the possibility for registration and discovery of DAS servers, and provide a convention how to provide different types of data plots. We present examples of web sites and applications that use the new extensions. We operate a public registry of DAS sources, which now includes entries for more than 250 distinct sources.

Conclusion

Our DAS extensions are essential for the management of the growing number of services and exchange of diverse biological data sets. In addition the extensions allow new types of applications to be developed and scientific questions to be addressed. The registry of DAS sources is available at http://www.dasregistry.org webcite