TOOLS: Snapping Up SNPs

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Science  22 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5559, pp. 1431
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5559.1431c

Biomedical researchers are keen to winkle out single- nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, sites in the genome where the DNA code varies from person to person by a single letter. Already implicated in diseases such as sickle cell anemia, SNPs may also influence our susceptibility to chronic killers such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. PicSNP, a database from the University of Tokyo, simplifies the job of finding SNPs that may be medically significant. From the 1.2 million catalogued SNPs in the human genome, curator Hangil Chang gleaned some 3800 that change the amino acid sequence of proteins. You can search for these SNPs by the name or function of the gene. Along with the gene's sequence and background on its involvement in disease, you'll find links to the SNP database from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, where you can access chromosome maps and 3D images of the protein's structure.

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