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ALFRED has been designed to make allele frequency data on anthropologically defined human population samples readily available to the scientific community and to link these polymorphism data to the molecular genetics-human genome databases. Initially, ALFRED contained primarily data generated in the laboratories of K.K. and J.R. Kidd in the Department of Genetics at Yale, including extensive unpublished data. Data from the published literature are being entered into ALFRED in a systematic way, with a focus on polymorphisms studied in many different populations. (Researchers wishing to have their data entered into ALFRED should contact us. If suitable data can be sent in appropriate electronic format, it will be much easier to include them in ALFRED, see "Criteria" in the ALFRED website.)

ALFRED is distinct from such databases as dbSNP, which catalogs sequence variation. ALFRED's focus is on allele frequencies in diverse anthropologically defined populations. It is not a compendium of human DNA polymorphisms but of frequencies of selected polymorphisms with an emphasis on those that have been studied in multiple populations. All of the data in ALFRED are considered to be in the public domain and available for use in research and teaching.

ALFRED is a work in progress. The structure and functionality of ALFRED are being revised in an ongoing process as time allows improvements to be implemented. We are also routinely adding new data and links to other databases. Those of us on the ALFRED staff hope these data will be useful to others. We welcome comments on content, structure, and the interfaces available.