DATABASE: Blueprint for Bones

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Science  06 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5600, pp. 1853
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5600.1853a

From the shape of our cheekbones to the kinks in our toes, genes shape our skeletons. The Skeletal Gene Database at the National Institutes of Health holds information on some 200 genes involved in normal and abnormal bone and cartilage formation in mice and humans. You can look up each gene's function and role in disease in a table that also links to genomic databases and PubMed. Or in a new section, search a catalog of 80,000 gene fragments, known as ESTs, by gene symbol, chromosome location, or GenBank number. The list ranges from the BMP genes, which help bone and cartilage form, to VDR, which plays a role in vitamin D metabolism and can contribute to rickets.

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