Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
Human Genome News, March 1993; 4(6)
The Chromosome Coordinating Meeting (CCM), held in Baltimore November 15-17, 1992, represented an important stage in international coordination of human genome mapping and sequencing. CCM 92, attended by nearly 150 people, was an experimental transition between Human Gene Mapping (HGM) 0.5 meetings, at which data entry and editing were prime activities, and future workshops, which will be conducted in a setting of continual database updating. Cochaired by Peter Pearson [Genome Data Base (GDB) at Johns Hopkins University] and Kay Davies (John Radcliffe Hospital, U.K.), CCM 92 focused primarily on genome program policy issues. Future meetings will concentrate more on scientific and technical issues.
Most CCM 92 participants represented individual chromosome communities as organizers of recent or pending single-chromosome workshops (SCWs) or as GDB editors charged with data entry, validation, and maintenance. Other attendees included Human Genome Organization (HUGO) staff, funding agency observers, and present and past members of the HUGO Human Genome Mapping Committee (HGMC).
Topics discussed at the meeting included the role of SCWs and the need to avoid workshop overlapping and to report meeting data quickly through GDB.
Problems in linking information from sequence databases (e.g., GenBank®) with map data in GDB were discussed. Attendees agreed that the correct naming of sequenced genes could be ensured by using GDB as a conduit between sequence databases and the nomenclature committee.
Attendees agreed to try to increase the number of journals that insist on using officially designated gene symbols. Tom Shows (Roswell Park Memorial Institute) presented information about NOMEN, a new computer program that automatically generates gene symbols and names from basic descriptive information provided by the investigator. NOMEN observes naming conventions already in place.
The changing role of GDB editors and the creation of curatorial positions were discussed at length. Participants agreed that editors should be nominated at SCWs when possible and appointed by HGMC after consideration of candidates' scientific and computing expertise and access to essential network connections and databases. The activities and productivity of individual editors should be reviewed on a yearly basis and inefficient editors rotated off as necessary. The assistance of curators supported by GDB will allow editors to concentrate more on editorial decisions rather than on data entry and correction.
Attendees expressed a strong desire to return to large meetings in which more investigators can participate. SCWs could be held every 1 to 2 years, depending on the amount of data gathered between meetings. Scientific needs might be adequately served by periodic CCMs without the overhead associated with editorial database access and by occasional SCWs alternating with larger HGM-style conferences.
CCM 93 is planned for November 10-12 in Tsukuba, although sources of financing, particularly for transportation to Japan, have not yet been defined. The exact meeting format and agenda are still under discussion-a major topic is likely to be consensus map construction.
A summary of the CCM 92 meeting is contained in the introduction to various committee reports in the first volume of the Genome Priority Reports series. This 1993 Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics publication is available for $397 from bookstores or S. Karger Publishers; 26 W. Avon; P.O. Box 529; Farmington, CT 06085 (800/828-5479 or 203/675-7834, Fax: -7302).
CCM 93 organizer:
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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v4n6).
The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.
Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.