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NSF Bioinformatics Awards, Feb. 5 -- March 4, 2006

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BioLit: Open Source Tools for Integrating Biological Literature and Databases. Start date: April 1. Expires: March 31, 2007. Estimated total amount: $953,466. Principal investigator: Philip Bourne. Sponsor: University of California, San Diego.

Supports a grant to develop tools for integrating biological literature and databases. These open source software tools, collectively called BioLit, include "authoring tools to facilitate biologists in employing existing ontologies, post manuscript submission tools to extract relevant facts from the manuscript which are stored as metadata, a database of journal content and tools for the visualization and further analysis of data and knowledge presented in this database of on-line published papers," according to the grant abstract. Development and testing will be performed using the complete corpus of Public Library of Science journals integrated with the Protein Data Bank.


Identification of Genetic Networks in Neurospora Crassa: A Systems Biology Approach. Start date: March 1. Expires: Feb. 29, 2008. Expected total amount: $157,115. Principal investigator: David Logan. Sponsor: Clark Atlanta University.

Proposal to study the metabolism of quinic acid in the bread mold Neurospora crassa. The metabolic response will be monitored by measuring the organism's messenger ribonucleic acid levels by using molecular and computational biology methods.


Computing Infrastructure for the UConn Health-Grid Initiatives. Start date: March 1. Expires: Feb. 28, 2007. Expected total amount: $50,000. Principal investigator: Chun-Hsi Huang. Sponsor: University of Connecticut.

Supports planning activities for the UConn Health-Grid Initiative, which will apply information technology to various disciplines of life science research and practice. The computing infrastructure will be based on a campus-wide computational and data grid, an effort that began in 2004. The current grant supports development of general-purpose middleware support for secure transfer of data over computing infrastructure. The grant also supports an annual scientific meeting called the international BioGrid Workshop.


Statistically Predicting Hotspots and Coldspots in Caenorhabditis Elegans. Start date: Aug. 1. Expires: July 31, 2007. Expected total amount: $100,000. Principal investigator: Eleanne Solorzano. Sponsor: University of New Hampshire.

Supports comparative genomics analysis for the model nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, and the development of statistical models for predicting the types of mutations that will occur. This analysis will be based on the comparison of the laboratory strain of C. elegans with other strains and closely related species. The statistical models will initially focus on the prediction of cold spots, which are DNA sequences in the genome with low rates of mutation, and hot spots, which are sequences with high mutation rates.

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The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.