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NHGRI Releases Free Phenotype Toolkit

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Human Genome Research Institute today launched the first version of a free, online toolkit of phenotypic data.

NHGRI said that the resource is aimed at standardizing measurements of research subjects' physical characteristics and environmental exposures. It said that the toolkit will provide researchers with more power to compare data across multiple studies, which will accelerate efforts to understand the complex genetic and environmental factors that cause cancer, heart disease, depression, and other common diseases.

The toolkit is the first product released under the Consensus Measures for Phenotypes and eXposures initiative, which is a three-year project aimed at developing a set of standard measures across 20 research categories related to health and common diseases. The initiative is receiving funding of $6.8 million through a cooperative agreement from NHGRI and is conducted by Research Triangle Park, NC-based RTI International.

"We encourage researchers to begin including the measures from the PhenX toolkit in new and existing studies now, so that they are familiar with the process and can add additional measures seamlessly to their research in the future," Erin Ramos, an epidemiologist in NHGRI's Office of Population Genomics and an NIH project scientist with the PhenX project, said in a statement.

NHGRI said that additional categories and measures will be added to the PhenX toolkit over the next few months. The toolkit can be found here.

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