By relating intermediate gene products called messenger RNAs to each of their parent genes, and exhaustively connecting them to the relevant proteins, the consortium has established a reliable systematic network of human-curated relationships between genes and their biological functions.
The study, reported in the open access journal PLoS Biology, has taken over two years to complete, and is expected to set the standard for analysis of gene expression and human diseases worldwide through the publicly available H-Invitational database. There are estimated to be about 30,000 genes in humans, so having a detailed functional map of a majority of them will be a boon for geneticists, drug researchers and genome scientists around the world. There is a wealth of information, including evidence for several thousand new genes, data about variable expression and genetic variation within the genes.
The consortium has laid the groundwork to address the challenge of connecting the functions of genes and their products to the clinical effects that each of them has upon human health. "We are confident now that anyone in academia or industry who uses our database will gain far deeper insight into the meaning of human disease than was previously possible" stated Professor Gojobori. The work also builds on the traditions of international cooperation and large-scale collaboration, which played such an important part in the deciphering of the sequence itself. The con
Contact: Hemai Parthasarathy
Public Library of Science