SALT LAKE CITY, Utah--The seven-month-old quest for bioinformatics software standards reached a significant milestone here February 13, when a working group drafted the first formal request for proposals from software vendors interested in creating standard software objects for analyzing genetic sequences. If approved at a March 30 meeting in Manchester, UK, the request for proposals could produce by late 1998 the first widely accepted rulebook for developing certain kinds of interoperable bioinformatics tools and services.

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