NEW YORK, June 10-Researchers at Iceland's Decode Genetics have constructed a genetic map with five times the resolution of previous human genome maps, and promise to make it freely available to researchers.
The improved map promises to make estimations of recombination rates and physical genetic distances more accurate. It should boost the understanding of gene linkages and variability and provide a better roadmap in the study of genetic disease.
The DeCode team, lead by Augustine Kong, located 5,136 microsatellite markers and pinpointed more than 2 million SNPs.
The data was gathered from 869 people from 146 Icelandic families. While the most complete map before it was based upon only 188 meiosis, this data derives from 1,257 meiosis.
The research appears in today's issue of Nature Genetics.
Aside from offering a closer look at the genetic variability between people, the map has uncovered other valuable findings.
The Decode team uncovered 104 errors in the August 2001 "freeze" of the public assembly of the human genome.
Their work also indicates that there are significant sex differences in recombination. In women, the recombination rate is on average 1.6 times higher than it is in men, and also is highly variable from woman to woman.
For more information, see the Decode website.