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[Drosophila] sharing lab stocks information

dr. julien colomb via dros%40net.bio.net (by julien.colomb from gmx.de)
Thu Apr 19 05:51:42 EST 2012

Dear Drosophilists.

I am a neurobiologist working with flies since 10 years now. I am
currently developing a tool I would like to have. I need feedback to
make it most useful for everyone. Please take a couple of minutes to
read this e-mail, any feedback would be greatly appreciated, either
here or by replying directly to me at julien.colomb from gmx.de

I am about to build a web platform to share
information about fly stocks. I wanted to have a
little feedback from future users, in order to (1) be sure the
will be of use and (2) have feedback to build the best platform
possible. Your feedbacks will be greatly appreciated, especially from
non-neurobiologist whose needs may be different.

In the everyday life of a scientist working with Drosophila, questions
like "when was this strain last outcrossed?", "is it normal that these
flies have orange eyes?", "does anyone has this mutant in a white+
background?" are quite common and cannot be answered, YET.
When flies are shared from one lab to another, the dance of e-mails
about which flies we indeed want, what does the label mean and on
chromosomes are the transgenes are always taking too much of our time.
There is thus a need for a better lab stock management system, and a
better information sharing.

I am about to develop a web based service that will respond to these
needs. By uploading one's fly stock list in a database (and linking
line to its counterparts in different labs), one will be prompt to
more information about fly lines and will be able to access
given by others. These lists will then replace the older list, since
is more complete and the interface will be better than excel! Backup
the information will be possible, but the current version will always
Another service will allow to ask flies directly to other
labs, allowing the community to share more than just information, but
the flies themselves (why would we take two months of crosses to have
double mutant somebody already produced somewhere else?), lowering fly
ordering costs and simplifying the stock collection management
(automatic entry into the stock list).

I wanted to have a quick survey of the functions one would want in the
fly stock management, such that none of you would hesitate to use it.
terms of security, one would be able to make only part of its stock
public, and even then, there will be no way to see your own list
the proper login information (the address of the fly lab that send you
the flies will be kept secret). Of course, possibilities to make it
open will be given to the users.

The information available on flybase will be automatically added if
available, and categories corresponding to these information will be
the database. I wanted to ask you if there is any category you are
or that you think would be helpful in addition to the one listed
In addition, is there any specific function (like making sublists
only lines with specific tags), you would like to have (again function
you are using, or would use if it would exist -like advance search
options for instance-). It is indeed easier to include them from the
start, than adding function in a running system.

Thank you all for your help, you will be the first informed when a
version will be available.

Dr. Julien Colomb
future founder of Drososhare.com

Here are categories I already thought of:
Private or Public line (modifiable only by the PI)
each genotype component link with flybase (insertion site, type of
mutation, ...)
state of the line (ordered, in quarantine, in stock, in use, in
infirmary, lost, trashed)
eye color of the homozygote
eye color of the heterozygote

link to other fly line (genetic control, lexA counterpart for a Gal4
line, different inserts of the same transgene,...)
link to flybase (and other database)
link to a forum (one forum for each line: ask question about one line
every users of the line, tell the community that the elavGal4 you are
using works only once in a while/ only at 27°,...)

need for particular care?
tag for who is using it in the lab
date of last outcross
date of reception
date of loss

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