To study gene evolution across a wide range of organisms, biologists need accurate tools for multiple sequence alignment of protein families. Obtaining accurate alignments, however, is a difficult computational problem because of not only the high computational cost but also the lack of proper objective functions for measuring alignment quality. In this paper, we introduce probabilistic consistency, a novel scoring function for multiple sequence comparisons. We present ProbCons, a practical tool for progressive protein multiple sequence alignment based on probabilistic consistency, and evaluate its performance on several standard alignment benchmark data sets. On the BAliBASE, SABmark, and PREFAB benchmark alignment databases, ProbCons achieves statistically significant improvement over other leading methods while maintaining practical speed. ProbCons is publicly available as a Web resource.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.