DATABASE: Mendel at the Vet's

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Science  10 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5762, pp. 751
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5762.751a

A Siamese cat owes its dark ears, paws, and tail to a single mutation in tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in coat color, scientists reported last year. To learn more about inherited traits in animals, many of which serve as models for human diseases, check out the revamped Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) (NetWatch, 13 December 2002, p. 2097). Curated by Frank Nicholas of the University of Sydney, Australia, the site describes more than 2500 genetic disorders and traits in cats, chickens, cattle, horses, dogs, and 130 other species (except mice). Last September, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information launched an OMIA mirror, integrating the site with GenBank, PubMed, and other NCBI databases. And a new home page in Australia allows guest curators to modify pages. Experts around the world are lining up, says Nicholas.

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