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Human Genome News, May-June 1995; 7(1)

Database Workshops Held

Two workshops have been held entitled Interconnection of Molecular Biology Databases. The first was at Stanford University on August 9-12, 1994, with a 1995 follow-up on July 20-22 in Cambridge, England. Several workshop-related documents are available now via WWW (http://www.ai.sri.com/~pkarp/mimbd.html). These include the 1994 final report; attendee abstracts and contact information; bibliography on database interoperation; summary of biological databases and WWW pointers; and a list of presentations for the 1995 conference.

Some 55 bioinformatics researchers, computer scientists, and biologists from 9 countries attended the 1994 meeting, which surveyed the roughly 100 existing databases and requirements for integrating the diverse information they contain. Computer scientists presented an overview on the need for database interoperation and suggested techniques for solving the problem. Participants described a wide range of approaches that are presently generating practical results, such as systems allowing multidatabase queries to the sequence databases, Genome Data Base, and Protein Data Bank. These systems and approaches vary according to their capability to handle complex queries, implementation difficulty, required user expertise, and scalability.

The workshop identified a number of barriers to interoperation, including resistance to standards, database inaccessibility to structured query via Internet, and inadequate documentation of many databases. Attendees felt, however, that interoperation is proceeding at a rapid pace and will soon enable researchers to answer questions that are laborious or impossible today.

[Peter Karp, SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center (pkarp@ai.sri.com)]

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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v7n1).

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.

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