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NHGRI Awards, Database Protection Bill, BNU and SGI Bioinformatics Center

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NHGRI Awards $13M in ENCODE Funding

The National Human Genome Research Institute awarded around $13 million in grants for its ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) initiative on Oct. 9.

The grants are the first awards in a three-year, $36 million pilot project to test high-throughput experimental and computational methods for identifying and analyzing all of the functional elements contained in a set of DNA regions that covers about 1 percent of the human genome.

If the pilot effort is successful, NHGRI said it plans to expand the project to cover the entire genome.

NHGRI’s Eric Green will lead the comparative sequencing efforts for this project; David Haussler at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will coordinate the database for sequence-related data (see story, p. 3); and NHGRI’s Andy Baxevanis will coordinate the database for other data types.

A list of grant recipients follows:

Richard Myers, Stanford University: The Stanford ENCODE Project. First-year funds, $2.7 million; total funds, $8 million.

George Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington, Seattle: Identification of Functional DNA Elements by HSqPCR. First-year funds, $2.3 million; total funds, $6.9 million.

Michael Snyder, Yale University: Transcription and Regulatory Elements in ENCODE Regions. First-year funds, $1.7 million; total funds, $4.9 million.

Bing Ren, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of California, San Francisco: Mapping Transcriptional Regulatory Elements in Human DNA. First-year funds, $1.4 million; total funds, $3.1 million.

Thomas Gingeras, Affymetrix: Mapping Sites of Transcription and Regulation. First-year funds, $990,000; total funds, $2 million.

Roderic Guigo, Municipal Institute of Medical Research, Barcelona, Spain: Encyclopedia of Genes and Gene Variants. First-year funds, $570,000; total funds, $1.5 million.

Anindya Dutta, University of Virginia, Charlottesville: Mapping Replication Elements on Human Chromosomes. First-year funds, $380,000; total funds, $1.1 million.

Ian Dunham, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Center: Detecting Human Functional Sequences with Microarrays. First-year funds, $490,000; total funds, $730,000.

Zhipeng Weng, Boston University: Alternative Promoter Usage in Tissue-Specific Gene Expression. First-year funds, $530,000; total funds, $1.5 million.

Xiang-Dong Fu, University of California, San Diego: A Novel ChIP-Chip Technology for ENCODE. First-year funds, $460,000; total funds, $1.4 million.

Robert Kingston, Massachusetts General Hospital: Long-Range, High-Resolution Mapping of Chromatin. First-year funds, $430,000; total funds, $1.3 million.

Roland Green, Nimblegen Systems: Discovery of Binding Sites for Transcription Factors. First-year funds, $400,000; total funds $1.3 million.

Mark McCormick, Nimblegen Systems: DNA Array-based Exon Detection and Linkage Mapping. First-year funds, $400,000; total funds, $1.2 million.

Job Dekker, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester: Structural Annotation of the Human Genome. First-year funds, $370,000; total funds, $1.2 million.


Database Protection Bill Introduced

On Oct. 8, Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) introduced database protection legislation, HR 3261, the “Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act,” which prohibits users from redistributing a “quantitatively substantial” part of a database.

A draft version of the bill, circulated prior to its introduction in the House of Representatives, drew criticism from members of the scientific community who charged that it would limit access to scientific data [BioInform 10-13-03].

The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. James Greenwood (R-PA), Rep. David Hobson (R-OH), Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA). The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.

The full text of the bill is available at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_bills& docid=f:h3261ih.txt.pdf.


SGI Powers Beijing Bioinformatics Center

SGI and Beijing Normal University have launched the BNU and SGI Bioinformatics Center, which will host training programs to broaden the pool of bioinformaticists in China.

SGI said it will provide the center with an Altix 3000 supercluster with 16 Intel Itanium 2 processors running Linux, a 1-terabyte-capacity SGI InfiniteStorage TP9100 disk array, and two Silicon Graphics Octane2 visual workstations with dual processors and SGI Vpro graphics.

The Bioinformatics Center is part of the China Education Ministry's National Base of Life Science and Technology Education program, which was launched in Sept. 2002.

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