TOOLS: Tracing Genetic Wrongdoers

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Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 585
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5761.585e

Geneticists have pinpointed the genes responsible for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, but for other illnesses, researchers only know the chromosome region where the gene lurks. GeneSeeker from Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands, can help narrow the list of potential culprits. The search engine combs 10 databases that contain information on gene location, activity, and effects, including Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, Swiss-Prot, and the Mouse Genome Database. Users pick a chromosome location linked to a condition, such as cataracts or cleft palate, and then specify an organ or structure in which the gene should be active. The results list genes that match the criteria, along with near misses, such as genes that fall in the right region but don't show the correct expression pattern.

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