100 hundred billion bases of the genetic code sequenced
August 22, 2005
Public Collections of DNA and RNA Sequence Reach 100 Gigabases
These 100,000,000,000 bases, or letters of the genetic code, represent both individual genes and partial and complete genomes of over 165,000 organisms. While a single gene from organisms as diverse as humans, elephants, earthworms, fruitflies, apple trees, and bacteria can range from less than one hundred to over several thousand bases long, an organisms genome can be longer than one billion bases. The free access to this information allows scientists to study and compare the same data as their colleagues nearly anywhere in the world, and makes possible collaborative research that will lead ultimately to cures for diseases and improved health.
Thanks to their data exchange policy, the three members of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration: GenBank (Bethesda, Maryland USA), European Molecular Biology Laboratorys European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-Bank in Hinxton, UK), and the DNA Data Bank of Japan (Mishima, Japan) all reached this milestone together.
GenBank is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a part of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Submitters to GenBank currently contribute over 3 million new DNA sequences per month to the database. More information about GenBank may be found on the NCBI Web site at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
David Lipman, Director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, commented that Todays nucleotide sequence databases allow researchers to share completed genomes, the genetic make-up of entire ecosystems, and sequences associated with patents. The International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC) has realized the vision of the researchers who initiated the sequence database projects by making the global sharing of nucleotide sequence information possible.
Graham Cameron, Associate Director of EMBLs European Bioinformatics Institute, added This is an important milestone in the history of the nucleotide sequence databases. From the first EMBL Data Library entry made available in 1982 to todays provision of over 55 million sequence entries from at least 200,000 different organisms, these resources have anticipated the needs of molecular biologists and addressed them — often in the face of a serious lack of resources. More information about EMBL-Bank is on the Web at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/embl.
Takashi Gojobori, Director of the Center for Information Biology and DNA Data Bank of Japan, said: The INSDC has laid the foundations for the exchange of many types of biological information. As we enter the era of systems biology and researchers begin to exchange complex types of information such as the results of experiments that measure the activities of thousands of genes, or computational models of entire processes, it is important to celebrate the achievements of the three databases that pioneered the open exchange of biological information. More information about the DNA Data Bank of Japan is on the Web at http://www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/.
Much has changed since the days when sequences were manually keyed in from the literature or sent on floppy disc and distributed to users on 9-track magnetic tapes, but the purpose of the databases — to make every nucleotide sequence in the public domain freely available to the scientific community as rapidly as possible — remains as strong now as it was in the beginning.
The National Library of Medicine, the worlds largest library of the health sciences, is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.
This is a NIH news release. The original version appears here
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