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Neuroinformatics. 2003;1(4):327-42.

Informatics center for mouse genomics: the dissection of complex traits of the nervous system.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Division of Behavioral Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. grosen@bidmc.harvard.edu

Abstract

In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of tools and techniques available to researchers interested in exploring the genetic basis of all aspects of central nervous system (CNS) development and function. Here, we exploit a powerful new reductionist approach to explore the genetic basis of the very significant structural and molecular differences between the brains of different strains of mice, called either complex trait or quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis. Our specific focus has been to provide universal access over the web to tools for the genetic dissection of complex traits of the CNS--tools that allow researchers to map genes that modulate phenotypes at a variety of levels ranging from the molecular all the way to the anatomy of the entire brain. Our website, The Mouse Brain Library (MBL; http://mbl.org) is comprised of four interrelated components that are designed to support this goal: The Brain Library, iScope, Neurocartographer, and WebQTL. The centerpiece of the MBL is an image database of histologically prepared museum-quality slides representing nearly 2000 mice from over 120 strains--a library suitable for stereologic analysis of regional volume. The iScope provides fast access to the entire slide collection using streaming video technology, enabling neuroscientists to acquire high-magnification images of any CNS region for any of the mice in the MBL. Neurocartographer provides automatic segmentation of images from the MBL by warping precisely delineated boundaries from a 3D atlas of the mouse brain. Finally, WebQTL provides statistical and graphical analysis of linkage between phenotypes and genotypes.

PMID:
15043219
DOI:
10.1385/NI:1:4:327
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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