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Bluejay 1.0: genome browsing and comparison with rich customization provision and dynamic resource linking

Jung Soh1*, Paul MK Gordon1, Morgan L Taschuk1, Anguo Dong1, Andrew C Ah-Seng1, Andrei L Turinsky2 and Christoph W Sensen1*

Author Affiliations

1 University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, Sun Center of Excellence for Visual Genomics, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4N1, Canada

2 Centre for Computational Biology, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada

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BMC Bioinformatics 2008, 9:450  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-9-450

Published: 22 October 2008



The Bluejay genome browser has been developed over several years to address the challenges posed by the ever increasing number of data types as well as the increasing volume of data in genome research. Beginning with a browser capable of rendering views of XML-based genomic information and providing scalable vector graphics output, we have now completed version 1.0 of the system with many additional features. Our development efforts were guided by our observation that biologists who use both gene expression profiling and comparative genomics gain functional insights above and beyond those provided by traditional per-gene analyses.


Bluejay 1.0 is a genome viewer integrating genome annotation with: (i) gene expression information; and (ii) comparative analysis with an unlimited number of other genomes in the same view. This allows the biologist to see a gene not just in the context of its genome, but also its regulation and its evolution. Bluejay now has rich provision for personalization by users: (i) numerous display customization features; (ii) the availability of waypoints for marking multiple points of interest on a genome and subsequently utilizing them; and (iii) the ability to take user relevance feedback of annotated genes or textual items to offer personalized recommendations. Bluejay 1.0 also embeds the Seahawk browser for the Moby protocol, enabling users to seamlessly invoke hundreds of Web Services on genomic data of interest without any hard-coding.


Bluejay offers a unique set of customizable genome-browsing features, with the goal of allowing biologists to quickly focus on, analyze, compare, and retrieve related information on the parts of the genomic data they are most interested in. We expect these capabilities of Bluejay to benefit the many biologists who want to answer complex questions using the information available from completely sequenced genomes.