Tag Archives: science funding

(de)Funding Databases


From Deepak Singh:

Scientists spend years collecting and generating increasing amounts data. The data ranges from raw instrument data, “finished” data (e.g. a

crisis_newbanner_correctsize1_flattenedgenome sequence which is constructed after aligning all the short reads from a next-gen sequencer), and annotated data, which has been marked up to add additional information. We have repositories where a lot of this data goes, RCSB, NCBI, etc. In many cases there is clarity in these

destinations and for the better part, resources like RCSB and NCBI are well funded and long lived (although I am always nervous about RCSB). However, many data repositories are dependent on funding, with no guarantees that the funding will be renewed. Given the size of some of these data resources, shouldn’t we be thinking of a more sustainable model for funding? This is a general problem for infrastructure resources, given the cost and the fact that you shouldn’t be looking at these from a 3-5 year perspective. This especially baffles me when libraries come into play. Shouldn’t the timescale there be in the 10’s of years?mndoci.com, The disconnect in funding data resources, Oct 2009

You should read the whole article.

A recent example of this is the arabidopsis resource, TAIR.

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Dividends from the chicken genome

Gallus gallusJust saw on the GenomeWeb Daily News that: 

 “Researchers at Michigan State University, the University of Delaware, and Texas A&M worked with funding from the USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service to identify individual genes that are linked to MDV, or Marek’s disease, a highly contagious viral disease that costs the worldwide poultry industry $1 billion per year.”

 It makes me very happy to see articles like this, for multiple reasons. First off, it is evidence that our expenditures for “a genome a day” actually do result in public benefit. I really hope the news media picks up this success story – we could use more public support for funding research. 

Second… Continue reading