DATABASE: Bad for the Genes

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Science  28 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5709, pp. 491
DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5709.491b

Need to know which genes the neurotoxic pesticide DDT meddles with? Wondering how the toxic metal cadmium affects erythropoietin, a hormone that spurs blood cell production? Drop by the prototype Comparative Toxicogenomics Database, sponsored by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Maine. The collection allows you to determine which genes respond to a particular compound, to find out which species the interaction has been studied in, and to answer other questions about hundreds of chemicals. The information comes from papers cited in PubMed and in databases such as GenBank and SwissProt, but the site's creators hope that researchers will contribute their own findings.

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