Wiki of the Month September 2013
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MIT Technology Review article How a wiki is keeping direct to consumer genetics alive
SNPedia is a Semantic MediaWiki-based wiki investigating human genetics. We keep track of all of the scientific literature known about each position in the human genome, otherwise known as a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism or SNP. (SNP is pronounced "snip"; thus SNPedia is pronounced "snipedia".) SNPedia is used by scientists ([PMID 22140107]), and has become a standard reference taught in schools. We also serve an audience of regular folks who have had their DNA tested by companies such as 23andMe.com or ancestry.com. They can use the site to look into their raw data, and better understand what diseases are more likely, or to which medicines they may have a bad reaction.
We have been online since 2006, and using Semantic MediaWiki since March 2008. All articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. As of September 2013 there are over 46,000 pages about Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, and many more articles that cover medicines and medical conditions.
Use of Semantic MediaWiki
Semantic MediaWiki is an essential part of SNPedia. It allows us to maintain human friendly structured relationships over several categories of articles, especially between SNPs and Genotypes.
SNPedia also uses the Extension "Page Forms" extension to make it easier for users to modify information directly on the site.
Personalized reports with Promethease
SNPedia makes extensive use of the MediaWiki API to power several bots which continually load new information, and extract information into extremely personalized genetic reports. These reports are available for slowly for free, or quickly for $2 to $5. More information about these reports is at http://snpedia.com/index.php/Promethease. These per-report charges have allowed us to fund maintenance and development of the site and to help people find the information most relevant to them.
Top of a SNPedia page about a position in the human genome associated with muscle
A genetically personalized Promethease report built using the SNPedia wiki content
- More statistics about SNPedia
- SNPedia article on Wikipedia
- A screencast about Promethease and SNPedia - a demonstration of the Semantic Forms interface in use is at 16m 57s
- A sample report