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Keeping Up Databases

An editorial appearing in Nature last month discusses the major problem facing biological databases and repositories: funding. After providing 10 years of support, the US National Science Foundation is discontinuing its funding of the Arabidopsis Information Resource and Japan has cut the RIKEN BioResource Centre's funds by a third. The editorial says it's time for "a whole new approach." Business|bytes|genes|molecules's Deepak Singh adds that while the current model isn't working, "sustaining a data resource of any kind requires a dedicated team, a team of software engineers, curators, informaticians and biologists and funding that understands that these need to be maintained."