Project 1: The Mouse Brain Library Project 2: Internet Microscopy (iScope) Project 3: Neurocartographer and Segmentation of the MBL Project 4: The Neurogenetics Tool Box


















Principal Investigator/Program Director Williams, Robert W.


Current software

Nearly a dozen software packages are currently available for mapping QTLs (Manly and Olson 1999) . Despite this apparent variety, only Map Manager QT is a noncommercial, general-purpose mapping program designed from the beginning with an effective graphic user interface that can be mastered within a week or two. QTL mapping is a somewhat esoteric field. Despite Map Manager QTs accessible interface, many users, particularly those who have not been immersed in mouse genetics for several years, find mapping QTLs to be challenging. They need an experienced collaborator. Most of the neuroscientists and even many of the neurogeneticists using the MBL and NeuroCartographer will be expert neuroanatomists, developmental or molecular biologists, or stereologists, but they will not be expert statisticians or quantitative geneticists. In order to effectively exploit the raw mapping resources we will offer, clients will need accessible and well-documented software tools to act as a remote collaborator. With this resource, scientists will be able to do QTL mapping without getting totally immersed in quantitative genetics. This is the major interface challenge in the NTB projectdevising a web interface that allows any neuroscientist to access powerful gene mapping utilities in a way that makes their use as simple as possible.

As discussed below, the QTL detection and mapping functions of Map Manager QT and Map Manager QTX are prototypes for the corresponding functions proposed for the NTB. We will be able to adapt and extend the code from Map Manager QTX for use in the NTB. The code will initially be adapted for the NTB by simplifying itremoving some features that are not required by the uncluttered user interface of the NTB. Once this first-pass interface has been successfully implemented, and after the NTB has been tightly linked with our extensive phenotype databases, we will progressively add more sophisticated mapping options and novel features for mapping epistatic interactions.



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