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NIH Plans Bioterrorism Genomics, Bioinformatics Center, Seeks Proposals

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BETHESDA, Md.--Plans for an Orthopoxvirus Genomics and Bioinformatics Resource Center are being developed by the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the US National Institutes of Health. The division said it will establish the center to provide insights for the selection of targets for the design of antiviral and vaccine strategies. A request for applications, due to the institute January 19, invited proposals for genomic analysis research such as genome sequencing and functional comparisons of conserved and variable genes.

NIAID noted that applicants who proposed only to sequence orthopoxviruses would not be considered, but requested proposals addressing areas including:

• Collection or determination of orthopoxvirus genomic sequences including variola, and human and vertebrate poxviruses that might serve as surrogates for variola;

• Design and maintenance of relational databases to store, display, annotate, and query genome sequence, structural information, phenotypic data, and bibliographic information;

• Application of innovative methods for global functional analysis of viral genomes;

• Service as a repository of well-documented viral strains and genomic clones that are used in the genomic sequence analysis;

• And, development and maintenance of a website.

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