DATABASE: Reading Between the Lines

Science  08 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5732, pp. 225c
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5732.225c

Cancer biologists rely on immortal populations of tumor cells to uncover the mechanisms behind uncontrolled growth and test potential new drugs. But these cell lines, which are passed from lab to lab, might have picked up fresh DNA glitches over the years, and different lines might have mixed with cells from other sources. Now, a team at the Sanger Institute in the U.K. that has been working to characterize more than 600 cell lines has released its first data. The collection indicates which of four major genes involved in cancer, including the tumor-fighter p53, is faulty in each of the lines. Visitors can also peruse a list of lines that are likely descended from each other and find out whether a line has lost copies of a particular gene.

www.sanger.ac.uk/genetics/CGP/CellLines

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