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International sequencing consortium.

The sequencing of multiple species' genomes by the Human Genome Project, including those of the human, the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, has laid the foundation for the field of comparative genomics. Experts believe this field of study represents the next step in genomic exploration, and that sequencing of more organisms will be critical to answering cross- and multispecies genomic questions. The International Sequencing Consortium (ISC) was established in 2002 to provide a worldwide forum for genomic sequencing groups and their funding agencies to share information, coordinate research efforts, and address common issues raised by genomic sequencing, such as data quality and release. The ISC has established a free website at where scientists and the public can get the latest information on the status of sequencing projects for the genomes of animals, plants, and other eukaryotic organisms.

The ISC website consists essentially of a database of sequencing projects. The database can be searched and sorted by organism, sequencing group, or funding agency. In addition, information is provided for each organism on the region of the genome being studied, strategies being used, the purpose of the study, collaborating groups, and the timetable for the project, if known.

In most cases, links in the database connect users directly to individual websites for the project, sequencing group, or funding agency. For example, the website lists a project for sequencing the mosquito species Anopheles gambiae, the principal vector of malaria. The project was conducted by Genoscope (the national center for sequencing in France) with funding by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, and the French Ministry of Research. Another link on the ISC site connects to the completed project's website, where information is provided on the scope and importance of this work.

The ISC site also contains a listing of links to other resources categorized under the headings of microbial websites, genome browsers, trace archives, and other genome-related sites including other public databases where DNA sequence data are deposited.

Members of the ISC include large-scale, high-throughput sequencing centers and their funding agencies, all of whom have agreed to continue generating publicly available sequence data for unrestricted use by the research community. Most of the sequencing projects included in the ISC database adhere to the policy of rapid release of prepublication data that has been established by the National Human Genome Research Institute and The Wellcome Trust for efforts designated as "community resource projects."
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Title Annotation:txg net
Author:Thigpen, Kimberly G.
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:May 15, 2004
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