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Free online toolkit provides standard measures for genome and population studies
Date:4/20/2009

said Erin Ramos, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in NHGRI's Office of Population Genomics and an NIH project scientist with the PhenX project.

The first release of the PhenX toolkit contains standard measures selected by experts in three categories. They include demographics, with information on measurements such as current age, ethnicity, gender and current educational attainment; anthropometrics, or measurements of the human body and its proportions such as height, weight and waist circumference; and alcohol, tobacco and other substances, with measures such as alcohol maximum drinks in 24 hours , and nicotine dependence.

In addition to measures under each category, the toolkit includes information about each measure such as the rationale for its selection, standard data collection protocols, and a summary of research personnel and required training. Other categories of measures such as cardiovascular, nutrition, and dietary supplements, will be added in the next several months. The process used to develop the measures is being driven by the scientific community through the PhenX steering committee, working groups and surveys.

Researchers using the toolkit will soon have an option to register on the secure PhenX Web site. Researchers who choose to register will be given a password-protected account that allows them to save the measures they select for their studies. In the long term, the PhenX Web site has plans to develop a social networking platform that will allow registered researchers to interact and foster collaborations with other researchers.

Additional categories and measures will be added to the PhenX toolkit over the next few months. Along with its goal of listing 20 standardized measures, the toolkit will include supplemental information about each measure, such as current scientific thinking about its significance and influences upon health status. The process used to develop the measures is being driven by the scientific c
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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