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Informaticists Debate Assembly Strategies

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SAN FRANCISCO--Three of the world's leading bioinformaticists, representing Celera Genomics, Incyte Pharmaceuticals, and the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, will debate sequence assembly strategies for an audience of some 400 industry and academic researchers at Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Eighth Annual Bioinformatics and Genome Research Conference here June 14-15. Christian Overton, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioinformatics, who will chair the session, predicted that the discussion of divergent views on sequence assembly will be "instructive and very interesting."

Overton said another session highlighting microarray data interpretation is an indicator of new directions being taken in the field of bioinformatics. Scientists from the US National Cancer Institute, the Whitehead Institute, Molecular Applications Group, the Jackson Laboratory, Genetics Institute, Rosetta Inpharmatics, and George Mason University will discuss various methods for analysis of gene expression data. Other topics to be addressed include sequence annotation and gene identification.

The conference, which follows two other two-day meetings here on In Silico Biology and Proteomics, sprung from an annual meeting organized by Hwa Lim at Florida State University. Lim, now president of D'Trends, said he has watched attendance and interest increase steadily since 1990, when the first meeting drew a mostly academic crowd of 120. Organizers said about 70 percent of this year's registrants are from industry.

--Adrienne Burke

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