Touch the genome

Thanks to some great work by Juan Aguilar, JBrowse now runs on the iPad. Working with Lincoln Stein, Juan hooked up JBrowse to the iOS JavaScript touch/gesture callbacks.

The result is very cool indeed. Click here to see it in action (um, using an iPad, naturally; if you have an iPhone, it will still work, but the screen is a bit small to do anything meaningful).

Alternatively, you can watch it here:

This code should (fingers crossed) make it into the next release. It’s still “alpha” at the moment, but several people have asked for JBrowse on the iPad, and we do hate to disappoint.

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hg19 tarball updated

Chris Tandiono reported a bug in the hg19 tarball, and supplied a script to fix the problem.  The tarball has now been updated with the fix; you can download the new version here:

The bug prevented name/id searching from working; with the fixed tarball, searches work again.

Update: a newer hg19 tarball has been released, you should use that one.

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JBrowse tarball for hg19 human genome data

Something we get asked for a lot is data releases: tarballs of JBrowse JSON pre-generated from widely-used datasets, ready for you to plonk on your webserver, unzip, and serve to the world (perhaps after adding your own tracks, or making other modifications).

Data releases are good because they make it even easier to deploy JBrowse on your website, while illustrating what we consider best practices in using the JBrowse setup scripts.

Doing this right takes time, but it didn’t seem fair in the meantime to deprive people of the JSON files we’ve generated to run our demos. Particularly the human genome demo — there have been several requests for the data files underpinning that.

So, without further ado, here is a tarball of the UCSC hg19 annotation tracks. At least, some of them: we’ve tried to keep this tarball small. It’s 62 megabytes compressed; 330 megabytes uncompressed; it has the smallest 27 annotation tracks, and in order to keep the size down, we didn’t include actual sequence (just the locations of features like genes).

This demo should not be considered a final-quality data release. Some things aren’t set up as nicely as we’d like; for example, the outgoing links from features. However, if you’re interested in exploring using JBrowse for human applications (e.g. like genomesunzipped), this might help get you started.

(Update 2010/11/23: a bug in the tarball has been fixed; the link above now points to the fixed version)

(Update 2012/3/22: updated again to point to hg19mini on JBrowse 1.2.1)

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Personal genomics website using JBrowse

The folks over at are trying an interesting experiment in personal genomics. A group of experts in fields related to personal genomics are analysing their own genomes (via 23andMe) and making all the results available online. Naturally they chose JBrowse as their genome browser 🙂

It will be very interesting to see how this experiment in transparency plays out, and what kinds of discussion it provokes. More here.

Posted in Sites using JBrowse | 1 Comment

JBrowse website moved to Amazon cloud

The website is now hosted by Amazon Web Services. The human genome demo has been regenerated using a new UCSC-to-JBrowse adaptor.

Posted in Website | Leave a comment maintenance

Due to a disk failure, is currently undergoing maintenance.

To download the latest jbrowse release, go to:

Update (9/24/2010): The site has now been moved to the Amazon EC2 cloud. Most links and demos are back online, but some are still broken (the human genome demo is missing the large tracks (BAM, SNPs) and the Release 1.1 tarball is missing). Restorative maintenance is ongoing…

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JBrowse 1.1 release

JBrowse version 1.1 is released! You can find the code here:

Release notes and screenshots below the fold.

JBrowse release notes, version 1.1, September 2010.

These notes document JBrowse developments in the period from July 2009 (online publication of the first JBrowse paper in Genome Research, the de facto “version 1.0”) up to September 2010 (the first in a planned series of quarterly releases).

New features in this release:

  • Scalability. JBrowse can now handle very large data tracks, including human EST/SNP tracks, or tracks of next-gen sequence reads. Large datasets are broken into smaller chunks, so there is no loading delay for big tracks.
  • Extensibility. A Perl module ( for creating user-drawn image tracks is now available, based on the CPAN module. An example program is provided,, that uses this module to draw arcs over a sequence representing the base-pairing interactions of RNA secondary structure.
  • Bug fixes. Numerous display glitches have been fixed, including issues with wide-screen monitors and long mostly-offscreen features.

Known issues/limitations with this release:

  • No JSON-level backward compatibility. If you are upgrading from an older version of JBrowse, you will have to regenerate all the JSON files on your server. This means wiping your jbrowse/data directory and re-running all server scripts (flatfile-to-json, biodb-to-json, wig-to-json, etc.) to regenerate your data from the original FASTA/GFF/BED/WIG files.
  • Next-gen sequence display is currently restricted to the co-ordinates of the outermost region to which a single read is mapped. There is no support (yet) for displaying pairing between reads, sequences of reads, alignment of read to reference sequence (e.g. splicing), or mismatches between read and reference.
  • Processing SAM/BAM next-gen sequence files takes a lot of memory (about 500 megabytes per million features).
  • Numerical (as opposed to comparative) readout of the data in Wiggle tracks, e.g. via a y-axis label or mouseover popup, is still unsupported.
Posted in Software releases | Tagged | 1 Comment

JBrowse website on WordPress

Title says it all.

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