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Sick Kids Improves Access To Global Genome Database

TORONTO -- Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) have improved access to an important resource for genetics researchers around the world: a genome database that provides the latest data from human gene mapping activities. HSC information scientists have launched Canada's only mirror site of the Genome Database (GDB), currently located at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

"The Genome Database (GDB) is an important resource for scientists working in the field of human genetics because it is a central repository of genetic information that can be accessed by researchers anywhere in the world," explains information scientist Dr. Jamie Cuticchia, head of Bioinformatics at HSC. "By hosting a mirror site for the GDB, The Hospital for Sick Children will not only provide better access to the data for Canadian scientists, but also work with researchers across the country to collect and disseminate their data through the GDB."

GDB is used by thousands of researchers around the world as the definitive source of human mapping information. It contains within it not only map information for all known human genes but also information on probes available for regions of the human genome. These probes are the main tools which are used to map other genes in the regions. Additionally, GDB maintains a list of all known human mutations which have relevance to genetic disease. This can play a critical role in diagnostics.

The Genome Database was created at Johns Hopkins in 1989 by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to capture the data from the Human Gene Mapping Library at Yale University. A series of mirror sites in many countries helped ensure international access to the data. The database is the definitive source of human genetic mapping data collected to date. The data on the site includes information on human genes, probes, clones and allele frequencies.

The annual cost of operating the GDB site at HSC will be approximately $100,000, and is incl
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Contact: Liz Leake
liz.leake@sickkids.on.ca
416-813-5046
The Hospital for Sick Children
5-Nov-1998


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