DATABASE: Discovering Our Inner Fly

Science  20 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5687, pp. 1085
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5687.1085c

Genetic pathways in fruit flies have revealed clues about human conditions from cancer to the neurodegenerative illness Huntington's chorea. This database from the University of California, San Diego, helps researchers quickly find fly equivalents for human disease genes. The collection, which is updated regularly, melds disease information from Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man with gene data from FlyBase. Glitches in the CFTR gene, for instance, cause cystic fibrosis, which clogs patients' lungs with thick mucus. Flies don't have lungs, but they do carry five genes with sequences similar to that of CFTR.

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