RESOURCES: The Final Cut

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Science  13 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5758, pp. 153
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5758.153c

Talk about a split personality. The short version of the protein BCLX prompts cells to kill themselves, whereas the long version keeps them alive. Thanks to the process called alternative splicing, most proteins in the body come in multiple versions that often perform different jobs or toil in different tissues. Researchers can track these variants with ProSplicer from the National Central University in Taiwan. The site pinpoints splicing sites in nearly 22,000 human genes by comparing genomic data with information such as messenger RNA and protein sequences. Search for your favorite gene to call up a map that shows which DNA segments code for amino acids and which get left out in the different protein versions.

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