DATABASE: Checking Cellular IDs

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Science  05 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5565, pp. 19
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5565.19c

The immune system uses more than 200 genes to mark the body's own cells and identify invading pathogens. Mutations in this block of genes, known as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), can spark autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. To help researchers clarify how DNA differences lead to illness, the MHC Haplotype Consortium plans to post sequences for some of the most common varieties of MHC genes, which all lie on chromosome 6. Hosted by the U.K.'s Sanger Institute, the site will eventually hold sequences for MHC haplotypes, or configurations of genes, from a racially diverse group of eight people who have DNA combinations that are linked to autoimmune diseases. The first two sequences have already been posted, and the other six will go up as they become available.

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