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JGI launches community sequencing program

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is poised for a resounding response to the age-old question, "If we build it, will they come?" Already, collaborators are queuing up to take advantage of one of the world's most powerful DNA sequencing facilities for the debut of DOE's Community Sequencing Program (CSP).

"The primary goal of the CSP is to provide a world-class sequencing resource for expanding the diversity of disciplines -- geology, oceanography, and ecology, among others--that can benefit from the application of genomics," says JGI Director Eddy Rubin. A "non-traditional" user facility

The model put forward by the CSP will attract a new audience of researchers not traditionally served by sequencing centers that focus on biomedical applications, says Rubin. "Just as physicists and climatologists submit proposals to get time on accelerators and supercomputers to address fundamental questions, we are inviting investigators to bring to the JGI important scientific challenges that can be informed with at least 10 million basepairs of sequence. The CSP will, in effect, cover the biosphere of possibilities."

The DOE, under the auspices of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within its Office of Science, will allocate roughly 12 billion bases of sequencing capacity per year through the CSP -- roughly four times the size of the human genome. This constitutes more than half of the JGI's yearly production total. Starting in February, the JGI will consider CSP applications from researchers geared toward generating informative DNA sequence from whole organisms or communities of organisms. Successful proposals, says Rubin, will be driven by meritorious science that will advance our understanding of the natural world.

Proposals submitted to the CSP will be evaluated by a group of experts from the scientific community. Once approved, DOE will cover the costs associated with the seque
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Contact: David Gilbert
925-296-5643
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
20-Jan-2004


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