In case you have been living under a rock since January, SNPTips is 5AM’s popular new Firefox browser extension that allows customers of personal genomics services (like 23andMe) to look up their genotype information while browsing web pages (like journal articles or blog posts) that mention SNPs. It’s a simple idea, but really handy. Since the launch, SNPTips has garnered users in over 50 countries worldwide, and has been reviewed favorably by Daniel MacArthur from Genetic Future at WIRED Science Blogs and the good folks at OpenHelix.
Not ones to rest on our laurels, we at 5AM have been busy improving SNPTips, and we’re just about ready to release a beta of SNPTips 1.1. Here’s what you can expect in the new version:
- Support for deCODEme data files: We’ve added support for deCODEme raw data, so it’s not just for 23andMe anymore! We hope to continue adding support for other vendors in future releases.
- Reference Mode: So, you say you don’t have any genotype data yet? Not even willing to take up 23andMe on their new pricing, at $99 down, $9/month? No problem - you can still use SNPTips to look up information about SNPs on web pages (it just won’t show you your genotype at the SNP). You can still access all of the handy reference links, however, like dbSNP, SNPedia, and Google Scholar.
- We revamped our markup model to make it even more secure: Now, we don’t even add genotype information into the Domain Object Model (DOM) until the popup is shown, and we remove it immediately, leaving the page in memory with no genotype information in the markup.
- We fixed a few other cosmetic bugs and minor issues.
We’re just putting the finishing touches on the 1.1 release now, and we hope to have it out by the end of April. Planning on the next release has already begun, so if you have a favorite feature request, don’t be shy! Contact the SNPTips team at firstname.lastname@example.org and make your voice heard. High on our list are a Google Chrome version, and support for showing results from multiple data files at once (e.g., family members). These are our two most-requested features so far. As always, let us know what you think, and stay tuned for updates on the 1.1 release! For more updates on SNPTips, follow @SNPTips on twitter.
A final note, in honor of DNA Day - Will FitzHugh, our Chief Science Officer, and I have been accepted into the Personal Genome Project (as part of the PGP-1K) and we have chosen to upload our 23andMe data for public access while we await sequencing. If you’d like to try out SNPTips before you have your own genotype data, feel free to try it out with ours (find the Genetic Data section near the bottom, and click the Download link):
If you find anything interesting in our data, please let us know. Happy DNA Day!