Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
Human Genome News, January-June 1997; 8:(3-4)
Researchers now have free Internet access to the Human Gene Index (HGI) database released by The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). Designed to integrate research from human genome projects worldwide, the massive HGI holds full-length gene sequences, more than 600,000 ESTs, and 63,000 tentative human consensus sequences. The ultimate goal is to represent a nonredundant view of all human genes with data on their expression patterns, cellular roles, functions, and evolutionary relationships. HGI will also include links to genomic sequences, mapping data, 3-D structures, and literature references (http://www.tigr.org/tdb/tgi/hgi/index.shtml ).
Anthony Kerlavage, director of the Department of Bioinformatics at TIGR, said of HGI, "Rather than searching for and locating bits and pieces of information in various places and databases where researchers often have to spend valuable time playing detective, the TIGR Human Gene Index brings together all available information in one location with various means of pinpointing specific areas of inquiry. It opens a vast universe of data to help fill in the blanks for scientists."
Researchers can search data using their own protein or nucleic acid sequences, search gene-product names assigned to many sequences, and examine detailed expression data associated with the sequences. Complex cross-checking of information is permitted through database queries. Each sequence is also tagged to clones in the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), allowing researchers to obtain clones through the TIGR-ATCC Special Collection.
Until HGI's release, much of the TIGR information was available only to academic researchers who signed written agreements with SmithKline Beecham and Human Genome Sciences in an arrangement that has since expired.
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