Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
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Human Genome News Archive Edition
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International Group Coordinates Structural Genomics Efforts
Shapes of Biomolecules Offer Clues to Their Function
As the human genome sequence nears completion, new projects are under way to determine the 3-D shapes of all proteins and other important biomolecules encoded by the human genome and those of key model organisms. The goals of investigators in the international structural genomics community are to discover, analyze, and disseminate 3-D shapes of protein, RNA, and other biological macromolecules representing the range of nature's structural diversity. Currently, there is significant funding for such research in the United States, Canada, European Union, Israel, China, and Japan.
Airlie Meeting, Agreement
The Airlie group reached general agreement on collaboration in a number of areas, including standards for early data release, criteria for assessing the quality of structures, sharing of targeted protein lists, and archiving and curating data.
Specifically, the "Airlie Agreement" provides for open sharing of scientific data and technological expertise. The consensus conditions for data sharing reflect the balance between two different goals timely and unrestricted release of all data and consideration for intellectual-property regulations that vary significantly in different countries. For projects with public funding, all data on biomolecular shapes are to be made freely available in all countries soon after their determination. In addition, the agreement recognized the potential for collaboration among researchers in academia and industry.
The group elected an executive committee to establish an international organization for structural genomics and to plan the next meeting, scheduled for October 2002 in Berlin. The executive committee consists of Thomas Terwilliger (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Udo Heinemann (Max-Delbruck- Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin), and Shigeyuki Yokoyama (RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, Yokohama, Japan).
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Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2003
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