CytoConverter: A web-based tool to convert karyotypes to genomic coordinates

In this brief article published in BMC Bioinformatics, Wang and LaFramboise address the topic of cytogenetic data and their genomic coordinates, which the authors describe as “precisely [specifying] a chromosomal location according to its distance from the end of the chromosome.” The authors note that despite changes in techniques over the years, the use of karyotype and cytogenetic nomenclature was the primary way of characterizing aberrations in chromosomes, and those methods are still being used today. Additionally, archival data used karyotypes and cytogenetic nomenclature. Given the lack of a maintained, robust tool for converting that nomenclature to genomic coordinates, the authors address their creation, CytoConverter, and explain how it accomplishes such conversions. They conclude that the tool should have “considerable value to the community for analyzing archival patient samples, as well as samples for which higher-resolution copy number data is unavailable.”

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