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Genomic data viewed on biological pathways with new computer program, GenMAPP

A new computer program is helping genomic researchers to make sense of the reams of dataa massive collection of numbers and decimalsthat result from using DNA microarrays, the widespread method of examining gene expression. Called GenMAPP (Gene MicroArray Pathway Profiler), the program displays the gene expression data in the context of known biological pathways so scientists can see how their results fit in with real life examples.

"GenMAPP provides a new way of looking at genomic information," said project leader Bruce Conklin, MD, investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and UCSF associate professor of medicine, molecular and cellular pharmacology. "Gene expression data was in one world and known biology was in another. GenMAPP helps to connect the two."

The program is the subject of a paper published in the May issue of Nature Genetics.

The flood of sequences from various genome-sequencing projects has paved the way for large-scale experiments to study gene expression. Just one experiment can yield information from thousands of genes. GenMAPP organizes the results by biological process, allowing researchers to see coordinated changes in gene expression that would be difficult to see when looking at all the data at once.

Since its beta release one year ago, more than 1,000 scientists from more than 35 different countries have registered to download the program, which is distributed freely to the public through its website (http://www.GenMAPP.org). Feedback from these users has been used to refine the program and guide plans for its future development.

The program is the brainchild of the Conklin lab (http://www.ConklinLab.org) at Gladstone whose members began drawing graphical representations of biological pathways that included genes for which they had expression data. With these diagrams, they could examine the biologica
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Contact: Laura Lane
llane@gladstone.ucsf.edu
415-695-3833
University of California - San Francisco
6-May-2002


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