TOOLS: Roaming the Genome

Science  15 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5486, pp. 1835b

Scientists gearing up to make sense of the public draft human genome now have a new way to home in on specific sequences. The University of California, Santa Cruz, genome team's Human Genome Browser* begins with a search box into which users type a gene ID number, position, or key word (such as author or “cystic fibrosis”). Each hit then leads to a rulerlike box packed with info on that section—such as whether there are gaps, and details on which snippets of DNA actually code for genes. Although not the only way to troll the genome, the browser has the advantage of using Santa Cruz's assembly, which is the most up-to-date. And the fast, simple interface—which lets you zoom in, pan out, or sidestep—is drawing raves from users, says developer Jim Kent: “We're hoping it will become people's first stop.”

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