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PSI Creates Materials Repository at Harvard, Plans Knowledgebase for 2007

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - The Protein Structure Initiative, a ten-year project funded by the National Institute of General Medical Studies, said yesterday that it is creating a materials repository at Harvard University's Institute of Proteomics.
The materials repository will house PSI-generated clones and will ship them to researchers for a small fee that covers handling, processing, and shipping. These clones can be used to make specific proteins for studies of their functions and structures.
The PSI materials repository has received $5.4 million in funding for five years and will be directed by Joshua LaBaer.
PSI director John Norvell said the repository will greatly reduce the time researchers currently spend producing clones and will offer a centralized location holding many of the 20,000 clones PSI-participating centers will create every year.
The PSI, which began in 2000, also plans to establish a knowledgebase in 2007, which will house structural information generated by the centers. PSI said it will allow researchers to find "best available" information about the structure and function of every protein and will offer information about each stage of the structure determination process, and information about all solved PSI proteins will be available.
The PSI said it will continue to pursue technology development. So far, PSI said, advances include: the miniaturization of samples needed to grow, purify, and crystallize proteins; robotic systems to handle samples and image crystals; enhanced software to analyze structural data and create high-resolution images; and improved systems for synthesizing proteins. 

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