WormBase-Caltech Weekly Calls

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July 9th, 2020

Gene names issue in SimpleMine and other mining tools

  • Wen: Last week, Jonathan Ewbank raised the issue of gene names that may refer to multiple objects.
  • this can be an issue for multiple data mining tools including WormMine, BioMart, and Gene Set Enrichment.
  • Perhaps have a standalone approach to check if any gene name among a list may refer to multiple objects (users check their name lists before submitting them to any data mining tool).
  • Jae: The public name issue has heterogeneous natures. That means there may be no single solution to solve all those problems.
  • Gene list curation from high-throughput studies, confusing usage of public names probably less than 2% (still cannot be ignored). See examples below--
    • single public name is assigned to multiple WBgene ID, Wen has a list of these genes
    • overlapped or dicistronic genes, ex. mrpl-44 and F02A9.10
    • overlapped or dicistronic, but has a single sequence name, examples:
   exos-4.1 and tin-9.2 (B0564.1)
   eat-18 and lev-10 (Y105E8A.7)
   cha-1 and unc-17 (ZC416.8)
    • simple confusion from authors, ex. mdh-1 and mdh-2
  • One of the most significant problems is a propagation to other DB and papers of these gene name issues.
  • We can make a special note for each gene page, but the people using batch analysis could not catch that easily.
  • Conclusion: Jae and Wen will work on a tool that lets Users "sanitize" their gene lists before submission to data mining tools. They will also write a microPub explaining this issue to the community.


  • Please test and leave any feedback on the word cloud tool (Wormicloud), https://wormicloud.textpressolab.com/
  • Valerio and Jae have worked on a tool that uses data in Textpresso; given a keyword, eg. "transposon", the tool generates a word cloud and word trend.
  • Any keyword can generate a graph that plots trends of occurence across the years in publication abstracts.

Noctua 2.0 form ready to use

  • Caltech summer student will try using Noctua initially for dauer (neuronal signaling) pathways

Nightly names service updates to postgres

  • Nightly using Matt's wb-names-export.jar to get full output of genes from datomic/names service, and updating postgres based on that.