PARIS--The Pasteur Institute, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control and two French biotech companies, Hybrigenics and Genome Express, have formed a bioinformatics consortium called Geno (Genostar) to design and develop a modular software platform for exploratory genomics. The group will create software for analysis of genes, proteins, and relationships between them. Tools for the characterization of gene function and identification of new pharmaceutical targets will be included. Geno will be able to handle many different types of information and will go beyond most existing bioinformatics environments, which are mainly dedicated to gene identification, the consortium claimed. Target markets for the software are basic research and pharmaceutical and agricultural companies.