News archive 2021


14 Sep 2021

3D-Beacons Network: protein structure data, all in one place

3D-Beacons Network acts as a one-stop shop for protein structures by combining and standardising data from several providers Read more
Cryo-EM structure of the BRCA1-UbcH5c/BARD1 E3-E2 module bound to a nucleosome.
13 Sep 2021

Improving processing and quality of DNA data for biodiversity research

ENA and Global Biodiversity Information Facility create stable pipeline for sequence-based records Read more
Oscillatoria redekei bacteria, observed in Rambla del Puerto del Garruchal, Murcia, Spain.
6 Sep 2021

The Spatial Mouse Atlas: new insights into cell fate

Researchers have combined spatial gene expression information with single-cell genomics data to create a high-resolution atlas of mouse organogenesis   Read more
Cells organised according to their transcript data changing to the seqFISH mouse embryo map


2 Aug 2021

Using ultrafast technology for protein sequencing

Funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 has been awarded to a consortium of researchers developing a new method for protein sequencing    Read more
Abstract illustration of nanoparticles flowing inside helicoidal nanotube


22 Jul 2021

DeepMind and EMBL release the most complete database of predicted 3D structures of human proteins

Partners use AlphaFold, the AI system recognised last year as a solution to the protein structure prediction problem, to release more than 350,000 protein structure predictions including the entire human proteome to the scientific community    Read more
Protein structures representing the data obtained via AlphaFold
22 Jul 2021

Great expectations – the potential impacts of AlphaFold DB

A discussion of the applications that AlphaFold DB may enable and the possible impact of the resource on science and society Read more
Protein structural biology
22 Jul 2021

Accessible 3D protein models to accelerate scientific discovery

DeepMind and EMBL-EBI to make millions of protein structure predictions freely available to the scientific community Read more
Mouse-ear cress protein structure prediction from the AlphaFold database
9 Jul 2021

The PROTACtable genome – a new route to drug discovery

Researchers establish a framework for identifying new drugs capable of exploiting a cell’s own machinery   Read more
Artist's impression of the proteasome targeting proteins for degradation.


23 Jun 2021

EMDB becomes a partner in Worldwide Protein Data Bank

Formal agreement between wwPDB and EMDB signed Read more
Cryo-EM structure of the flagellar motor-hook complex from Salmonella, with EDMB and wwPDB logos superimposed
21 Jun 2021

New releases: InterPro 86.0 and InterProScan 5.52-86.0

InterPro version 86.0 and InterProScan 5.52-86.0 are now available! InterPro now features hundreds of new methods integrated from partner databases, and InterProScan draws on over 38000 entries. Read more
InterPro: protein sequence analysis & classification
9 Jun 2021

Visualising RNA structures using R2DT

New software enables scientists to visualise RNA secondary structures using the world’s largest RNA structure dataset Read more
Artist's impression of R2DT software for RNA structures
7 Jun 2021

EMBL scientists elected as EMBO Members

John Marioni, Alex Bateman, and Takashi Hiiragi have been elected to EMBO Membership Read more
EMBL EMBO Members 2021
7 Jun 2021

A workflow for marine genomic data analysis

International effort set to develop standards and analysis for marine genomics data Read more
Artist's impression of an ocean microbiome


28 May 2021

Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in England

The largest in-depth analysis of genomic surveillance data mapping out the dynamics of 62 lineages of the SARS-CoV-2 virus Read more
Artist’s impression of different SARS-CoV-2 variants.
21 May 2021

Metadata to make microscopy images more open

New metadata guidelines for bioimages proposed to the community in the hope of unleashing the full potential of bioimaging data Read more
Diagram illustrating the different stages of the bioimaging data sharing process
5 May 2021

Ensembl 104 has been released

Ensembl 104 has been released Ensembl 104 and Ensembl Genomes 51 are out! This release features updates to human and mouse genes, GRCh37 variation and regulation, new assemblies and variation for vertebrates, new plant species and a large update of the available metazoa data. We also said bye-bye to clone-based gene names and welcomed the new Ensembl Canonical transcripts. Read more
Ensembl logo


28 Apr 2021

Piecing together the best reference genome

Researchers reveal the best technology for assembling reference genomes to date Read more
Artist's interpretation of how larger genome pieces are easier to assemble
20 Apr 2021

Different immune responses identified in patients with COVID-19

Researchers identify differences in immune response in asymptomatic COVID-19 cases compared to those with severe symptoms Read more
Coronavirus and T cells on pink background. Artist's impression.
16 Apr 2021

Using metagenomic techniques to explore lichens

Researchers have used a metagenomics approach to piece together the genomes of yeasts found in wild lichens  Read more
Wild lichen
15 Apr 2021

The value of open data for Latin American science

Scientists from the CABANA project explore how open data is benefiting global research efforts  Read more
Artist’s impression of open data in Latin America
14 Apr 2021

New releases: InterPro 85.0 and InterProScan 5.51-85.0

InterPro version 85.0 and InterProScan 5.51-85.0 are now available! InterPro now features hundreds of new methods integrated from partner databases, and InterProScan draws on over 38000 entries. Read more
InterPro: protein sequence analysis & classification
9 Apr 2021

Repurposing drugs to manage COVID-19 progression

Researchers use large-scale human genetic studies to identify drug targets important for managing COVID-19 in its early stages  Read more
ChEMBL used for COVID drug discovery
8 Apr 2021

Linking genetics and age-related diseases

Researchers have used human medical and genetic data from UK Biobank to investigate the genetics of age-related diseases  Read more
Genetics of ageing
7 Apr 2021

‘Patchwork’ tumours prevalent across multiple cancer types

Scientists have confirmed that tumour evolution is driven by changes that benefit the cancer, leading to a wide range of variation in tumours Read more
Breast cancer cells
1 Apr 2021

Single-cell RNAseq analysis made easy

Single Cell interactive application (SCiAp) is a new single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) interface that makes data analysis accessible to researchers Read more
Artists interpretation of single-cell sequencing analysis


25 Mar 2021

Improving reproducibility in systems biology

BioModels designs an eight-point scorecard to improve mathematical model reproducibility in the life sciences  Read more
Graphic of checklist on mathematical background
10 Mar 2021

Getting polygenic risk scores into the clinic

An open database for polygenic risk scores and guidelines for how to report them Read more
PGS Catalog logo on dark background with DNA strand
8 Mar 2021

Improving the rice gene catalogue

An international group of researchers has received BBSRC-NSF funding to improve the rice genome annotation Read more
Rice plant
4 Mar 2021

If you value open data, we need your help

An appeal to EMBL-EBI users from the institute’s Directors Ewan Birney and Rolf Apweiler, and Associate Directors Jo McEntyre and Paul Flicek. Read more
Top left: Rolf Apweiler; Top right: Ewan Birney; Bottom left: Jo McEntyre; Bottom right: Paul Flicek
4 Mar 2021

Induced pluripotent stem cells reveal causes of disease

Researchers identify thousands of genetic variants, many of which can be linked to specific diseases   Read more
An illustration of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq)
2 Mar 2021

Pfam releases structures for every protein family

New deep learning method accurately predicts structures for the large majority of protein families, opening new avenues to explore the hidden world of proteins Read more
Protein structures on background symbolising machine learning.


26 Feb 2021

Unlocking the genome of the African Cassava Whitefly

Researchers have sequenced and annotated the genomes of six whitefly species including African Cassava Whitefly, giving clear insights into this global pest Read more
African Cassava whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. Credit: Dr Sharon van Brunschot, Project Manager, African Cassava Whitefly Project
22 Feb 2021

Adult blood cancers originate decades before diagnosis

Researchers show that a genetic mutation common to certain blood cancers occurs decades before diagnosis and alters the behaviour of blood producing cells Read more
Artist's impression of a cancer mutation in a child expanding to an adult patient
17 Feb 2021

Allyship and support: an interview with Janet Thornton

Professor Dame Janet Thornton discusses work–life balance, the support she has received during her career, and how organisations can help staff during the COVID-19 pandemic Read more
Janet Thornton giving a lecture
17 Feb 2021

New releases: InterPro 84.0 and InterProScan 5.50-84.0

InterPro version 84.0 and InterProScan 5.50-80.0 are now available! InterPro now features hundreds of new methods integrated from partner databases, and InterProScan draws on over 38,000 entries. Read more
InterPro: protein sequence analysis & classification
16 Feb 2021

The thousands of viruses living in your gut identify more than 140 000 virus species in the human gut, of which more than half have never been seen before Read more
Phage invading gut bacteria.
10 Feb 2021

Anatomograms - a new feature in the Single Cell Expression Atlas

The Single Cell Expression Atlas (SCEA) has introduced a new feature - human body anatomograms - to help users navigate complex datasets. Read more
Single Cell Expression Atlas logo
4 Feb 2021

Show your support for open COVID-19 data

Open letter galvanises life science community in support of open COVID-19 data to speed up research Read more
Illustration of open padlock on chain to symbolise open SARS-CoV-2 data
1 Feb 2021

Insights into the new B.1.1.7 coronavirus lineage

A new lineage of coronavirus was first identified in the UK, but why is it spreading much more rapidly within the population?    Read more
B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the UK


27 Jan 2021

GIFTS: genomic and protein data in a single search

GIFTS is a new curation tool that allows users to match and map genomic and protein data Read more
GIFTS: Ensembl and UniProt data combine to make GIFTS
19 Jan 2021

Monitoring dangerous bacteria in freshwater

Freshwater sports such as swimming or rowing can cause waterborne infections, but real-time DNA sequencing could help Read more
Image of Brige of Sighs in Cambridge, UK, with animated microbes in the river water.
5 Jan 2021

Scientific disagreements aren’t new to COVID

EMBL Deputy Director and EMBL-EBI Director Ewan Birney shares his thoughts on scientific debates and their role during the pandemic Read more
Ewan Birney, EMBL-EBI Director