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Replies to stock center issue

Chris Somerville CRS at ANDREW.STANFORD.EDU
Sat May 28 15:00:06 EST 1994


Here are the replies I received to the question about making stock
center requests public. It is apparent that there is a high level of
consensus that it is preferable to make the information available. 
One correspondent notes that competitors may use such information to
gain insights into anothers labs strategies. This is, unfortunately,
probably going to be true on occasion and was the basis for the
discussion that prompted my question. However, I don't think we
should let the presence of a few such people in the community set the
tone. My impression is that the spirit of the Arabidopsis community
is cooperative rather than competitive and that anything we can to
to foster cooperation is in the common good. Many thanks to those who
replied - if anyone wants to add their opinion positive or negative
please send your comments directly to the newsgroup. 
Thx Chris
Here are the replies: 

>From:  Feldmann at CCIT.Arizona.EDU (Ken Feldmann)
Subject:  Re: Stock centers and privacy
Complete access, please. ken

>From: "Peter Doerner" <peter_doerner at qm.salk.edu>
Subject:  Re: Stock centers and privacy
I am all for the possibility to trace requests for seed and clones to 
prevent
duplication of effort.

>From: "Rick Amasino"  <Amasino at biochem.wisc.edu>
Subject:  Re: Stock centers and privacy
I think all requests to the stock center should be public info.

>From:  "Terry Thomas"  <TERRY at bio.tamu.edu>
Subject:  Re: Stock centers and privacy
I basically agree with you.  I would have no problem with that 
information
being made available.   
I suspect some companies might be uneasy, but as you say to maintain
confidentiality, they could use the sequence information to clone the 

cDNAs directly.

>From:  gcramer at fs.scs.unr.edu (Cramer, Grant)
Subject:   Re: Stock centers and privacy
I agree with you, Chris

>From: BRIAN PAUL SHLOMO DILKES <PDILKES at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject:  Privacy and the Stock Centers
It seems to me that the stock centers are part of the Arabidopsis
community. We, as a community, access stocks and information through 
the
center. To take information and stocks from the community and then be
unwilling to share in turn seems to violate the very concept of a 
community
resource. Lets not waste each other's money and time. I support 
complete
disclosure.

>From:  Robert Kuhn <rkuhn at biology.ucsc.edu>
Subject:  Re:  Stock centers and privacy
     I think disclosing the information you suggest would invite
mapping by inference.  If worker A knows worker B is ahead on the way
to a particular gene, B could save a lot of time by following A's 
tracks
through the requests.  A might just order clones from everywhere to
cover those tracks?
     Just a thought.  Not everyone has tenure or jobs yet, and I'm
afraid it's starting to look a bit cutthroat out there.

>From:   "Joanne Chory" <joanne_chory at qm.salk.edu>
Subject:  Re: Stock centers and privac
I'm all in favor for community access to who has requested clones
and seeds.  Perhaps this will also "nudge" people to deposit their 
clones and
seeds to OSU, so they can occasionally check in and see who has 
requested
their biological materials.  

>From:   Jan <JANJ at MIAMIU.ACS.MUOHIO.EDU>
Subject:  Re: Stock centers and privacy
I fully support the view that names of those requesting cDNAs and 
seeds should
be made public.  Most of these stocks were generated by public funds, 
making
them 'public property'.  Most of us using them are funded by the 
public
granting agencies, requiring us to use these funds prudently.  
Duplication of
effort is not prudent use of funds and disclosure prevents 
duplication.  The
argument is obvious.

>From: "June Medford" <JIM2 at PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Stock centers and privacy
Chris, Why not just require a short line or reference of "waht 
purpose"is
the material is being requested.  That (hopefully) should answer the
question and avoid a lot of misplaced anxiety when people request DNA 
or
seed stocks for controls.  For example, my lab might request a cell 
division
(e.g.  cdc) homologue for no interest in cell division but just want 
to see
where meristem cells are dividing in various mutants.  In that case 
we could
put a short phrase "control probe for cell division".  Folks who want 
to be
secret could (for DNA stocks) isolate the DNA with PCR anyway.  Less 
then
open folks would not provide more information even to an inquiring 
phone
call.  I think a simple inclusion is worthwhile.

>From: shanklin at bnlux1.bnl.gov (john shanklin) Subject: stock
availability and privacy I agree with you that a database makes
sence,  and the info should be public.  I can see no arguments
against this. 
Chris Somerville
Carnegie Institution
290 Panama Street
Stanford, CA 94305
fax 415-325-6857



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