October 15, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 18)
Strong Points: Mutation info
Weak Points: Focus a bit vague
Recognizing that cancer arises from mutations in DNA, the Sanger Institute’s Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) “stores and displays” somatic mutation information relating to human cancer. The site’s information page states that the emphasis is on genes for which there are no existing databases. Hmmm. It’s not clear what that means. Access to information is provided in several ways. One can click on an alphabetized list of genes, use a search engine, or click on a chromosomal map. Most of the clicks I made on the chromosomal map were to genes with no apparent mutation, so it was a bit of a waste of time to use that function. Returned information has maps of mutation info (insertion/deletion, missense, etc.), as well as sequence files, gene descriptions and linked reference information. A very useful site that could be a bit simpler.