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A map of more then 16,000 genes on the human accessible yesterday on the Internet as a part of the Human Genome Project.
The Internet address for the Gene Map site is www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/SCIENCE96/.
The Gene Map Web site, which is hosted by the National Center for Biotechnology information at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., gives a brief description of The Human Genome Project and an explanation of the gene map. With the click of a mouse, each chromoseme is pictured with the sequenced genes and information about what traits those genes code for.
Medical School Associate Professor of Genetics George M. Church said, "The purpose of the Human Genome Project, which was started in 1990, is to sequence and map the genes in the human chromosomes and a few other microorganisms in 15 years.
Although this is the first time the gene map has been available in one place on the Internet, Church said scientists working on The Human Genome Project have been sharing information over the Internet since the inception of the project.
"In fact," Church said, "the Genome project was one of the first scientific projects to be Internet-based."
Searches for specific terms will provide links to scientific articles and other sources of information.
"For example, if you find out that you have a relative with PKU [phenylketonuria--a treatable genetic disease which can cause mental retardation], you might want to search this site for this disease. You can find out on what chromosome the gene is and get connections to scientific information," Church said.
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