Introducing our new bioinformatics protocols
As a biologist, you probably know that the key to good data analysis is the selection and use of appropriate software. Owing to the increasing complexity of biological data, the number of tools typically required to perform an analysis is constantly growing, rendering the selection of software even more difficult. Indeed, finding the best series of tools that match your analysis criteria is challenging.
A protocol is a series of software presented in a logical order. With your data as a starting point, a protocol shows you the right pathway of tools to perform your analysis.
Until now, finding the optimal workflow was very challenging because bioinformatics analyses are difficult to decipher or remain buried in the masses of biomedical texts. To face this big challenge, we’ve combined powerful capabilities with AI to engineer a powerful protocol designing tool to help you find (or create) a wide range of protocols for effective bioinformatics analyses.
Access protocols in an easy way
Depending on the scope of your research, you can find two kinds of protocols on omicX.
- Protocols extracted from the literature: we scan all free-access biomedical publications with text-mining to decipher analyses and integrate them into a corpus you can explore and browse in a rich way.
How it is useful: getting an overview of the start of the art in the field of bioinformatics analyses. With extracted protocols, you broaden your knowledge and have a unique place to find the best solutions.
- Protocols generated by artificial intelligence: we analyze our corpus to deliver you, in real time, tailored protocols you can rearrange, by adding analytical steps and tools.
How it is useful: getting the most optimal and efficient combination of tools among the 11,000 indexed protocols. With generated protocols, you save time and ensure to solve complex analyses.
Visualize and customize protocols
Our protocol designing tool provides many options to edit protocols that are generated or extracted from the literature. The editor is the simplest way for anyone to get started with creating protocols. It’s also a great way for less tech savvy-researchers to customize existing bioinformatics analyses without needing to code.
Each analysis step is represented by a graphical icon and associated with at least two software tools. The basic mode is activated by default as you run the app. This mode generates the best fitted protocol you can customize (but not modify) with the best tool for each analysis step.
Clicking on the question mark next to the tool’s name opens an information box about the tool. If you want to learn more, click on the tool’s name (in blue) to reach the tool’s full page.
Setting actions with the toolbox
After a protocol is generated, you can use the toolbox to adjust several parameters of the interface:
- Adding the protocol to your favorites
- Undo previous action
- Redo previous action
- Saving as an high-quality image for future publication
- Zooming out
- Zooming to fit screen size
- Zooming in
Modifying the tools of a protocol
With the basic mode, you can also customize your protocol using the tools you like and save it for future analyses. Filters can help you improve your selection by filtering choices by licenses, software type, interface, and much more.
By default, the optimal tool for each step is automatically selected. To unselect it, click on the “X” mark. After doing so, 3 tools are proposed for each step. To select a tool, click on the “+” mark.
If your favorite tools isn’t on the list, you can set specific filters to change the list of 3 tools provided. You can also click “see more tools” to display a complete list of tools matching the category and filtering criteria, and select the tool you prefer.
Adding optional categories
To add an optional category to your protocol, simply drag and drop the icon. The interface will indicate the proper emplacement of the optional category, and a new tool will be automatically selected. Optional categories don’t impact the sequence of analyses.
Design protocols from scratch
Unlike the visualization mode, the edit mode lets you change all the parameters of protocols including the sequence of analytical steps, or even start a new protocol from scratch! If your analysis needs to be changed again, the Protocol Feature makes it easy to jump back in into the visual editor to modify it at any time.
Starting the editor
To create your own protocol from scratch, start by entering the edit mode and click on “New pipeline” in the toolbox. This will generate a blank page. If you want to go back to the protocol that was first generated in the visualization mode, click the reset button:
From a blank page, start by adding an analytical step:
Type the name of the step, or a part of it, and the interface will propose one or several corresponding steps. Drag and drop the icon to the blank space.
Continue by adding an input file format. Click the icon of the step and choose an INPUT file in the left menu.
To add a next or a previous step, click on the icon to select it and choose among the proposed protocol categories:
Then drag and drop the icon to your protocol. Placeholders will automatically indicate where you can drop the icon.
Modifying steps of a protocol
In the edit mode, you can create branches to your protocol tree, for example if you want your analysis to take different paths:
Analytical steps will automatically display branches if possible. You can manage connection with previous or next steps with the “CONNECTION” menu on the left:
Sharing a protocol
In the edit mode, you can save your protocol for further use/modification.
After naming your project, you can choose to make it private (default) or public.
Your protocol will then be stored in your profile page.
Want to help us to build a stronger version? Share your thoughts, by reaching out us at [email protected]
Need more help? See our complete guide on how to use bioinformatics protocols like a pro.