DATABASE: Mutation Bank Open for Deposits

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Science  01 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5633, pp. 573
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5633.573c

Each human disease gene can come in hundreds or thousands of varieties; molecular biologists have identified more than 600 faulty versions of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, for example. Now researchers have launched a new database to house information on these myriad mutations, a collection they hope will become the central repository for such data.

Analyzing mutations can help reveal disease mechanisms, speed diagnosis, and suggest novel or improved treatments. However, many newly discovered genetic variants never appear in the literature, and no one has attempted to gather them systematically. Geneticists, clinicians, and scientists at diagnostic labs can now report unpublished mutations at the WayStation Web site, hosted by the Human Genome Variation Society. Visitors who want to contribute data must first register and submit their credentials. The site opened last month and doesn't yet allow users to search the submissions, but the project's organizers plan to build a master archive that will merge deposited mutations with others gleaned from separate genomic collections.

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