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Human Genome News Archive Edition
  Vol.10, No.1-2   February 1999
Available in PDF 
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Genome Project 

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Microbial Genomics 

Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues and Educational Resources 


Genetics in Medicine 


Web, Other Resources, Publications 


Meeting Calendars & Acronyms 

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  • Training Courses and Workshops 
  • Acronyms 

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EMSL User Facility Promotes Remote Access to Instrumentation

On October 1, 1998, the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), DOE's newest National Scientific User Facility, celebrated the first anniversary of its opening in Richland, Washington. The mission of a user facility is to provide unique research resources to scientists from DOE and government laboratories, universities, and industry. Operated by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, EMSL's goals are to (1) attain a molecular-level understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes needed to solve DOE's most critical environmental problems and (2) advance molecular science in support of DOE's long-term environmental missions.

EMSL is recognized as a leader in using collaboratories to facilitate the remote use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry [see Analytical Chemistry(November 1, 1998)]. Through the Internet, EMSL is making these very expensive, cutting-edge technologies available to researchers and students who might otherwise find the instruments difficult or impossible to access.

NMR Spectrometry
Over a year ago, the EMSL Collaboratory team, in cooperation with researchers in the Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics directorate, began to develop the Virtual Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility (VNMRF). VNMRF is now "open for business" to allow NMR spectrometer users to conduct videoconferences with EMSL researchers, run the spectrometers remotely, collaboratively analyze data, and share their notes in a Web-based electronic notebook. A modern computer, video camera, microphone, and Internet connection are all that is needed.

During the last year, researchers from several universities and a national laboratory have saved considerable time and money by using VNMRF to participate in experiments remotely and to virtually extend or enhance visits to the facility. NMR spectrometry users desiring to run all or part of their experiments remotely can get started by simply noting their plans in their applications to EMSL.

Internet access to instrumentation and researchers is bringing cutting-edge technology to the classroom. For example, undergraduate chemistry students at a small college in Washington state recently used EMSL's technology to remotely control a mass spectrometer, run spectra on unknown samples, and calculate distribution of isotopes and fragmentation patterns. Members of a sixth-grade science class, still in their Illinois classroom, manipulated a high-powered Argonne electron microscope for a close-up look at computer chips.

Other User Facilities
Other DOE user facilities are at Stanford University and at Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Oak Ridge national laboratories.

The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v10n1-2).

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Acronym List

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

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.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.