Two new SIB bioinformatics resources for viruses and lipids


V-Pipe – an emerging tool to help virus genomics investigations –, and SwissLipids – a comprehensive knowledgebase of lipids – recently joined the ranks of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics resources. They are filling important gaps in the current landscape of biological resources.
Life scientists rely on many knowledgebases and software tools in their daily work. SIB’s mission is to support and develop the very best of these resources.



Viruses represent a major economic and health concern. Delving into their genetics using next-generation sequencing data (NGS) has become the approach of choice for public health studies as well as for individual treatment optimization.

V-pipe, developed by the Computational Biology Group of Niko Beerenwinkel (SIB, ETHZ), is a bioinformatics pipeline to support NGS-based viral genomics in research as well as in clinical diagnostics. It aims at integrating several existing pieces of software. Ultimately, the pipeline will enable reliable and comparable viral genomics and epidemiological studies and will facilitate clinical diagnostics of viruses.


Lipids are of fundamental importance to understand human health and associated diseases. However there is a lack of appropriate tools to interpret lipidomics data and to integrate them with other ‘omics’ datatypes (e.g. genomics, proteomics). This has so far hampered studies of lipid metabolism, regulation functions and biomarkers.

SwissLipids, developed by the Swiss-Prot and Vital-IT Groups in collaboration with the LipidX project of, is a comprehensive library of over 500,000 fully annotated lipids from over 180 major lipid classes. It is already adopted as a reference resource by leading academic and commercial lipidomics platform in Switzerland and Europe, and other bioinformatics service providers.