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Weizmann Institute of Science, Medical Research Council.

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The Weizmann Institute of Science of Rehovot, Israel, has released an experimental version of the Unified Database for Human Genome Mapping, which is enhanced with sequence information from finished genomic contigs. It can be found at http://bioinformatics.weizmann.ac.il/udb/sbr.html/.

The database provides an integrated map for each human chromosome, based on data retrieved from various radiation hybrid, linkage, and physical mapping resources. The integrated map includes genes, sequence tagged sites, and expressed sequence tag clusters, with further links to external databases.

In this new version, finished genomic sequences were placed on the UDB map, after eliminating distance, orientation, and spacing conflicts between them. Markers in the UDB regions that are covered by finished sequences were repositioned according to the sequence, and new markers present in the sequence were added to the UDB map. This process also enabled a more precise positioning of genes and EST clusters in the sequenced regions, according to Weizmann researchers.

The UK Medical Research Council’s Staden package is now available in a Windows version. The sequence assembly and analysis software, which includes Gap4, Nip4, and Sip4, can be downloaded from the council’s website (http://www.mrclmb.cam.ac.uk/pubseq/availability.html) under the same terms as the Unix release.

The package is free for academic users but commercial users must pay to license it.

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