LifeMap Sciences Announces Incorporation of GeneHancer Data in UCSC Genome Browser

  • GeneHancer is the first UCSC native track presenting a
    comprehensive view of regulatory elements and their associations with
    gene targets
  • GeneHancer will allow users to explore regulatory elements and
    their gene targets, and assist in the interpretation of whole genome
    sequencing data

ALAMEDA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LifeMap Sciences announced today that its GeneHancer database was
recently incorporated into the UCSC Genome Browser as a native track.
GeneHancer, a part of the GeneCards® Suite Knowledgebase (,
is a comprehensive database of human regulatory elements (enhancers and
promoters) and their inferred target genes. GeneHancer was created by
integrating >1 million regulatory elements from multiple genome-wide
databases. Associations between regulatory elements and target genes
were generated by combining multiple bioinformatics methods. The
GeneCards Suite and the GeneHancer database were developed at the
Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

GeneHancer is used today by both industry and academia for the
interpretation of whole genome sequencing data. LifeMap offers this
capability in its NGS Analysis & Interpretation platform, TGex (
TGex combines the GeneHancer database with VarElect, the variant
prioritization tool based on the GeneCards Suite Knowledgebase, to
identify, score, and provide evidence for relationships between variants
in non-coding regions and patient phenotypes. This capability is used
today by the largest pediatric research center in Europe as well as in
the top Maternal and Children’s hospitals in greater China for diagnosis
of children with rare disorders.

The UCSC Genome Browser project’s relevant announcement (
notes that GeneHancer is the first native track presenting a
comprehensive view of enhancers, promoters and their gene targets, using
the novel interact track format (available on the GRCh37/hg19 and
GRCh38/hg38 assemblies). This allows users to easily explore
GeneHancer’s elements and element-gene interactions within the world’s
leading genome browser.

“I am delighted to see the success of our GeneHancer compendium in
becoming a method of choice for exploring regulatory elements and their
gene targets at the widely used UCSC Genome Browser,” said Prof. Doron
Lancet, Principal Investigator of the GeneCards Suite project at the
Weizmann Institute of Science.

“As labs start moving from analyzing exomes to genomes,” said Yaron
Guan-Golan, CEO of LifeMap Sciences, “they will require high quality
tools and databases that will allow them to interpret mutations in
non-coding regions as they relate to patient phenotypes. Not
surprisingly, this is evidenced by growing interest in GeneHancer data
from both industry and academia. We are therefore happy to see
GeneHancer’s implementation in UCSC’s Genome Browser, which will make
this data more accessible to the larger research community.”

About LifeMap Sciences

LifeMap Sciences is a life sciences technology company that offers
integrated, streamlined solutions that empower life scientists worldwide
to conduct cutting-edge basic, clinical and applied biomedical research.
LifeMap’s products are used in more than 3,000 institutions including
academia, research hospitals, patent offices, and leading biopharma and
diagnostic companies. Operations worldwide are carried out from our
offices in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Tel Aviv, and Hong
Kong. LifeMap is a subsidiary of AgeX Therapeutics, Inc.

For more information, please visit

About the Weizmann Institute of Science and GeneCards

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the
world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for
its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the
Institute is home to scientists, postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. and M.Sc.
students, and scientific, technical and administrative staff. In
addition, visiting scientists and their families – over 500 from 35
countries are regularly hosted at the Institute. Particular excellence
in bioinformatics and systems biology is manifested, among others, in
the GeneCards project, initiated in 1996, under the leadership of Prof.
Doron Lancet of the Dept. of Molecular Genetics, until recently Head of
the Crown Human Genome Center. The team, led by Marilyn Safran,
continuously innovates to maintain GeneCards as the leading integrated
human gene compendium.


Yaron Guan-Golan