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Friday, July 07, 2000

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Wired Gene Researchers Get SNPpy
"DNA sequencers -- specialized computers designed specifically for one task -- are the technological miracle that allowed researchers to map the human genome in less than two years. Now that the project is complete, are these awesome machines doomed to become white elephants?

Not at all, researchers say. With a little "snipping" here and there, technicians can easily adapt DNA sequencers to tackle research that many believe will be even more important than the human genome map: deciphering the gene variations that make us different from one another."

"Researchers have already discovered 300,000 SNPs, [Leroy] Hood said. A year ago, they hoped they'd be at the 50,000 SNP point, but at this rate, researchers will have discovered more than a million SNPs by the end of 2000."
redux [05.02.00] The SNP Consortium Exceeds First-Year Goals To Identify and Map Set of Gene Markers
"The SNP Consortium Ltd., a collaborative effort to create a genome-wide map of genetic markers called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), today released into the public domain approximately 60,000 newly identified SNPs. The total number of SNPs the consortium has contributed is now 102,719 -- more than twice what had been projected for the first year of the two-year program. These data are available for the free and unrestricted use of biomedical researchers worldwide."

redux [02.18.00]
Science SNP Mappers Confront Reality and Find It Daunting
[summary - can be viewed for free once registered]
"The genetic markers called SNPs have been widely touted as the key to personalized medicine, with drugs tailored to an individual's genotype and simple tests to determine one's risk of specific diseases. But a closed meeting held last week, sponsored by the SNP Consortium and the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, concluded that those promises may be harder to achieve than expected, and that more SNPs may be required to track down a particular disease gene than previously estimated.”

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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