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NIH Negotiating with Celera for Access to Celera s Database

NEW YORK, Jan 12 - A new chapter in the storied and stormy relationship between the National Institutes of Health and Celera Genomics has apparently begun, as NIH officials are now negotiating with Celera for terms of access to its genome database, a NIH spokesman told GenomeWeb Friday.
" Negotiations are underway," the spokesman said, separately confirming a report published in Science 's online news service Friday morning.  Science  reported that a number of NIH scientists had requested subscriptions to Celera's database, and that a group of National Cancer Institute Scientists had evaluated Celera's database and found it useful.
If NIH scientists do gain access to Celera's database - at the price of between $7,000 and $15,000 per head - they would effectively be paying for a souped-up version of their own Human Genome Project research published in GenBank, plus Celera's own sequencing research.
Some scientists at the NIH are uncomfortable with this arrangement, but many NIH officials don't see any problem in it, according to Science . " We do it all the time" with scientific journals, Steven Hyman, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told Science . " We pay for the research, we pay for publication costs, and then we pay for the journal subscription for our scientists. We do it without complaining..."  

A Celera Genomics spokesperson said the company had no comment on the matter. Officials at the National Human Genome Research Institute had no immediate comment, but expect to make an announcement next week.
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