NIH launches online gene map

Finding a link between your diseases and your DNA has become a seconds-long task at a National Library of Medicine Web site tailored for the general public.

The library of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., set up the Genetics Home Reference site, at ghr.nlm.nih.gov, to detail the genetic roots of 69 disorders from Alzheimer's disease to X-linked sideroblastic anemia. It describes in depth the disease effects of 55 genes.

Users can browse by gene or disease and pull up summaries of symptoms, treatments, and lists of caregivers and counselors.

A link called Help Me Understand Genetics presents a backgrounder about the Human Genome Project as well as gene testing and therapy. Another link leads to glossaries of genetic terms.

The site 'was a logical step in making genetics and its relationship to disease more understandable to the general public,' NLM director Dr. Donald Lindberg said. NIH also maintains other reference sites such as medlineplus.gov and clinicaltrials.gov.


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