Software company 5AM Solutions has just launched a neat little FireFox plug-in for customers of consumer genomics company 23andMe.
The idea is very simple:
- Download your raw data from 23andMe (or use one of the files from me or my colleagues at Genomes Unzipped);
- Install the plug-in from here and point it to your 23andMe data;
- Browse to a website discussing one of the genetic variants included on the 23andMe chip, and you'll see highlights around the rsID of any variant on the page (rsIDs are unique codes assigned by dbSNP to most of the common variants targeted by personal genomics companies);
- Mouse over the rsID and your own genotype for that SNP will appear.
For any 23andMe user who's ever come across a variant on PubMed and wondered what their own genotype was, then gone through the process of logging into 23andMe and checking, the value of this tool is immediately obvious.
Here's a screenshot using my own data:
SNPtips creator Andrew Evans has a blog post up explaining the rationale behind the project. I spoke to Evans by email earlier this week, and he told me that future plans for the tool include development for Chrome, extension to data-sets from other companies such as deCODEme and Navigenics, and provision for viewing data from multiple individuals (which will be useful for those with multiple genotyped family members, or for groups like Genomes Unzipped).
As more people gain access to increasingly more comprehensive information about their own genome, online tools will become essential for navigating the data rapids. This is a small but very useful step in that direction.
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