The Mouse SNP Database website contains a searchable depository of mouse single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A similar facility already exists at the Genome Center at the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT), but this database, developed by Roche, contains more data - 3,482 SNPs and data from 15 mouse strains at the time of reporting, compared to 2,848 SNPs and data from eight mouse strains at MIT.
Navigation should present no problems to anyone. The entry point includes three links to the information within the database, including the genotyping and mouse strains, and a separate section devoted to explaining a search result. On access you are provided with a very limited search repertoire with drop-down menus and some input points, such as chromosome number and position, should you have a particular region of interest. Having run a query, the results are displayed graphically with the position, SNP name and, if available, links to alleles, sequences, locus information and description. Of the 3,482 SNPs in the database, 520 have been assayed by PCR optimization. A link is provided in the results section for such SNPs, giving particulars of the sequences, such as primers and conditions used.
The Roche Mouse SNP Database appears to be up to date. The last update at the time of writing was 9 August 2001, whereas the last recorded update for the MIT database was 1 April 2000. However, the main Genome Center website at MIT is undergoing major renovations and so, it is to be hoped, will their mouse database.
The site is extremely simple to use: the user does not have to work through long help sections or FAQs to find out how to use the database. The results are clear, easy to understand and easy to access. The interlinking between the results adds an extra dimension.
The MIT Mouse SNP Data site provides similar information.