University of California, Santa Cruz Bioinformatics Group announces free OpenHelix tutorial and training materials for ENCODE.

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Online tutorial suite teaches how to access ENCODE (ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements) data in the UCSC Genome Browser.

The ENCODE project and data are crucial to ongoing genomics research and have already changed our understanding of the organization and function of the genome.

An online tutorial suite is now available that teaches users how to access the ENCODE data in the UCSC Genome Browser. The online tutorial, created by OpenHelix in conjunction with the UCSC Bioinformatics Group can be viewed for free at

The ENCODE Project, (ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements), is an international consortium of researchers who are moving beyond the basic information of the reference genome sequence. Researchers are using the newest sequencing technologies and numerous strategies to generate data to learn as much as possible about variations, genes, non-coding transcripts, regulatory elements, and genome structure and more, in extensive detail across the entire genome.

The ENCODE project is coordinated by the NHGRI. The UCSC Genome Browser is the designated Data Coordination Center (DCC) , for the ENCODE project, and the official ENCODE data repository.

"The ENCODE project and data are crucial to ongoing genomics research and have already changed our understanding of the organization and function of the genome," said Kate Rosenbloom, the ENCODE technical project manager at UCSC. “New data are continually submitted to the Data Coordination Center before appearing in the literature. To maximize the impact on the broader biomedical community it is important to bring people up to speed quickly and efficiently on how to navigate the data. The OpenHelix tutorial suite will contribute greatly to our outreach and usability efforts for ENCODE.”

The online narrated tutorial, which runs in just about any browser, can be viewed from beginning to end or navigated using chapters and forward and backward sliders. The approximately 60 minute tutorial examines aspects of the ENCODE project and data types, and explores ways for you to access and learn about the ENCODE data available within the UCSC Genome Browser. Combined with the OpenHelix tutorials on the search and display features of the UCSC Genome Browser, the ENCODE data will enable researchers to access cutting-edge data, including pre-publication information.

The tutorial can be used by new users to introduce them to ENCODE, for previous users to view new features and functionality, or simply as a reference tool to understand specific features.
In addition to the tutorial, users can also access useful training materials including the animated PowerPoint slides used as a basis for the tutorial, suggested script for the slides, slide handouts, and exercises. This can save a tremendous amount time and effort for teachers and professors to create classroom content.

In addition to the ENCODE tutorial suite, OpenHelix offers over 90 tutorial suites on some of the most powerful and popular bioinformatics and genomics tools available on the web. Some of the tutorials suites are freely available through support from the resource providers. The whole catalog of tutorials suites is available through a subscription. Users can view the tutorials and download the free materials at

About UCSC Bioinformatics Group
The UCSC Bioinformatics Group is part of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering (CBSE) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Director and HHMI investigator David Haussler leads a team of scientists, engineers and students in the study and comparative analysis of mammalian and model organism genomes. Research Scientist Jim Kent heads up the engineering team that develops and maintains the UCSC Genome Browser( The UCSC Bioinformatics Group continues to uphold its original mission to provide free, unrestricted public access to genome data on the Web.

About OpenHelix
OpenHelix, LLC, ( provides a bioinformatics and genomics search and training portal, giving researchers one place to find and learn how to use resources and databases on the web. The OpenHelix Search portal searches hundreds of resources, tutorial suites and other material to direct researchers to the most relevant resources and OpenHelix training materials for their needs. Researchers and institutions can save time, budget and staff resources by leveraging a subscription to nearly 100 online tutorial suites available through the portal. More efficient use of the most relevant resources means quicker and more effective research.


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