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Bibliographic Databases - Exercise 1
PubMed is the database of choice if you are looking for published articles from life science journals. In this exercise we want to find out about obesity and a gene associated with it. In the 1990'es Jeff Friedman's lab at Rockefeller University cloned a gene called obese (ob). His lab discovered, to much fanfare, a hormone that seemed to make fat mice slim.
  1. Open a new window and browse to PubMed.
  2. Search for all publications of Jeff Friedman's lab.
  3. What is the basic structure of a PubMed entry?
  4. Which gene comes up most frequently? What hormone does it encode?
  5. Search for obesity gene or obesity protein. If you get too many hits, limit your search to years 1990 to 1999.
  6. Can you find the original paper describing the sequencing of the gene? In which journal was it published?
  7. Try to find more information about leptin.
  8. Go to the Jackson Labs web page and search for the mutant ob strain of mice. What does it take to purchase a pair of these mice for research purposes?
  9. Which company paid how much for the patent to use the leptin sequence commercially? Was it the panacea that some obesity researchers and patients had hoped for?