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ENCODE Project Announces $5.5 Million in Tech Development Grants

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (GenomeWeb News) - Six researchers in labs in the US and Singapore received $5.5 million in technology developments grants ranging from two to three years as part of the next step in the ENCODE consortium, the National Human Genome Research Institute announced yesterday.


The ENCODE [Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project, established in Sept. 2003 with the goal of creating a "parts list" of the all the sequence-based functional elements in the human DNA sequence, on Thursday detailed its strategy in an article published in the Oct. 22 issue of Science.


The project will have three phases - pilot, technology development, and production. The pilot and technology development phases will be conducted simultaneously, with a targeted period of three years set for completion. The pilot project will devise and test high-throughput known approaches to identify functional elements.


The technology development phase will develop computational and lab methods to identify known functional sequences, and discover new functional genomic elements.


The pilot project and the technology development will focus on 44 DNA targets, covering about 1 percent of the human genome. The targets were selected to provide a representative cross section of the entire human genome sequence, NHGRI said in a statement.


Recipients of the 2004 ENCODE technology development grants,  projects, and their total approximate funding are:

Joseph Ecker, The Salk Institute, La Jolla, Calif. -"Genome Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation" - $1.5 million (3 years);

Vishwanath Iyer, University of Texas, Austin - "Sequence Tag Analysis of Genomic Enrichment (STAGE) and Formaldehyde-Assisted Isolation of Regulatory Elements (FAIRE) for Regulatory Element Identification" - $1.3 million (3 years);

Yijun Ruan, Genome Institute of Singapore - "Di-tag Technologies for Complete Transcriptome Annotation" - $1 million (3 years);

Thomas Tullius, Boston University - "Structure of Genomic DNA at Single-Nucleotide Resolution" - $870,000 (3 years);

Madaiah Puttaraju, Intronn, Gaithersburg, Md. - "Use of RNA Trans-splicing to Identify Splice Sites" - $420,000 (2 years);

Scott Tenenbaum, University at Albany, State University of New York - "Identifying Functional Regulatory Elements in RNA" - $410,000 (2 years).

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