DATABASE: Genes That Make Us Wheeze

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Science  03 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5569, pp. 811
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5569.811c

Like heart disease and diabetes, asthma springs from a conspiracy between genes and the environment. But pinning down the numerous genes that prime some people's airways to swell and slam shut has proven difficult. The Asthma Gene Database Web site serves up results from more than 800 studies that have tried to link particular genes to asthma or allergies. Matthias Wjst of the Institute for Epidemiology in Munich, Germany, oversees the site, which has been online for 5 years. With free registration, you can search individual chromosomes or the entire genome for genetic markers or particular mutations implicated in asthma or allergies. Find out the chromosomal location of each suspect bit of DNA and the abnormalities it may cause, as well as details of the study's methods. The site claims to include all papers published in the field and is updated weekly.

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