Review of Body Map


Title: Body Map


Date Reviewed: 05/21/01

Description: Body map is a data base that contains information about the

EST’s of human and mouse genes, both known and unknown.

It also has information about the tissue specific as well as time

dependent expression of particular mRNA’s. It also gives an

idea about the relative abundance of different mRNA’s in a

particular tissue which is particularly useful for gene chip

expression experiments.


Strengths: It is a very useful site and the information it provides is easy to

understand and interpret. Tissue specific search of mRNA can

be easily performed here. Additionally, it also links to some

other useful related links such as Unigene and Sugano. Search

for a particular mRNA can be done by several options as here,

which adds to the ease of its use.The results also provide links

to useful sites like NCBI, and pubmed references are also

linked. Another useful option is that we can directly determine

genes that are present or absent in some or all of the tissues at

the same time, rather than searching these queries separately.

The expression pattern of a given gene in various tissues is also shown

graphically which makes the interpretation very simple and easy

(example). The localization of the mRNA on the human genome can

also be found here. Also shows the distribution of the number of EST’s

on the different chromosomes in a tabular form


Weaknesses: The number of EST’s is about 200 times less than that of Unigene.

( 18998 in Body map vs 2539835 in Unigene) and in general is less

organized than Unigene. Further, if we search for a particular

mRNA/ gene, it gives hundreds or thousands of EST’s and it

becomes a tough task to look for the gene of our interest.

Additionally, many well known genes also are not present in

this data base which makes its usefulness limited. Further, search by

entering the sequence, although shown in the options, is not

operational yet.


Comprehensiveness: Overall, the site is a comprehensive one, and gives quite a

bit of useful information about the gene of interest. Also has useful

links that work promptly. (However, I found Unigene much more

comprehensive than Body map).


Timeliness: Doesn’t take too much of time. All the results come promptly.

Ease of Use: Very easy to use and straightforward.

Responsiveness: Good

Similar or Related Sites: Unigene, SAGE , Sugano

Overall Evaluation: 3

Reviewer: Shaida Andrabi