A Little Chromosome Music

This “Manhattan Plot”  combines information from multiple studies that have looked for genes associated with Parkinson disease (called a genome-wide association study or GWAS)[1]. Chromosomes N° 1 through N°22 and the  X chromosome are lined up from left to right and show the location of  genes that have been most consistently associated with Parkinson Disease. The plot is called a “Manhattan Plot,” because of its resemblance to the Manhattan skyline.
[1] Human Molec Genet 2011, 20(2): 346.


When I juxtaposed a photograph of the Manhattan skyline taken from Long Island City, the concurrence was striking! The Empire State building (in green, no less) corresponds to the green dots indicating the alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA) at 4q22 on chromosome N° 4 and the looming Trump Tower corresponds to the microtubule-associated protein tau gene (MAPT) at 17q21 on chromosome N° 17.

Both of these locations were first reported by my team at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School collaborating with researchers from other institutions, including the National Institutes of Health, and both projects were initially funded by the American Parkinson Disease Association.