Announcement: SEQNET & HGMP-RC Consolidation of Services

Phil Gardner pgardner at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Wed Dec 23 00:04:03 EST 1998


	CONSOLIDATION OF THE UK BIOINFORMATICS SERVICES:
			 HGMP-RC AND SEQNET

			   10th Dec 1998

BBSRC and MRC are pleased to announce the consolidation of the
bioinformatics services provided by SEQNET and  the MRC Human Genome
Mapping Project Resource Centre (HGMP-RC).  This decision has been
taken following user consultation, expert consideration, and
discussions between the relevant parties including the funding bodies
(BBSRC and MRC), employers and grant holders (CCLRC) and the relevant
staff located at Daresbury Laboratory and Hinxton.

SEQNET and HGMP-RC both provide access to molecular biology databases
and software. An overlap in the scientific focus of the two services
currently exists in the area of genomes and protein sequences. SEQNET,
which services a broad community of biological scientists, has focused
on protein structure and protein structure prediction. The HGMP-RC
service has provided data resources and analysis tools for the medical
community relevant to genome information.

In the ten years since the start of the UK HGMP there have been a huge
number of achievements. Detailed maps of human and mouse have been
produced by linkage, radiation hybrid, EST and STS content mapping. The
complete sequences of  many prokaryotes and a yeast have been
determined, and the invertebrate nematode sequence is almost complete.
Fruit fly, plant (Arabidopsis), mouse and human sequences will all be
completed in a few years.

We have entered the era of functional genomics and proteomics that
relies on information derived from the study of all these genomes and
their transcribed RNA and translated protein products. The combined
services of SEQNET and HGMP-RC will enable users a single point of
access to this information

  When and where are genes expressed in cells and organisms?

  Which proteins interact with each other in signalling mechanisms?

  Which proteins are related to each other in functional pathways?

  What are the determinants of health and disease?

The consolidated service will be located at the Hinxton site, alongside
the Sanger Centre and the European Bioinformatics Institute.

The BBSRC sponsored Collaborative Computational Project 11 (CCP11) in
Biosequence and Structure Analysis will be relocated to Hinxton in
order to assist co-ordination activities for bioinformatics in the
UK.

A consolidation of these activities will offer the following
advantages:

  It will provide users of these services with a far better quality
  service than can be individually obtained.

  It will provide a new service, that is both integrated and
  comprehensive, meeting the needs of the post-genome challenge.

  It will avoid duplication of effort in both software and database
  support.  

  It will combine the expertise of both groups thereby
  providing fertile ground for capitalising on the potential of such
  expertise and encouraging the co-operative development of essential
  software.

  It will promote the formation of a single UK bioinformatics node,
  incorporating a national UK node of EMBnet and the HGMP specialist
  node.

  The service will be enhanced by the numerous research activities
  taking place in all three institutes at Hinxton.

The transfer of SEQNET will take place in late 1998 and early 1999,
with the new integrated service fully operational from 1 April 1999.
CCP11 will remain closely associated with the service.

Further details of the consolidation and the new service may be
obtained from:

	HGMP-RC Dr. Martin Bishop (email: Support at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk)

or from:

	SEQNET Dr. Alan Bleasby (email: ajb at dl.ac.uk)





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