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Assessing the usefulness of the WHO Schisto Gene Discovery Initiative

David Johnston daj at nhm.ac.uk
Tue Apr 7 09:50:34 EST 1998

 Dear Researchers,
 For the past 3 years, WHO has sponsored a gene discovery initiative for
 Schistosoma mansoni and S. japonicum, with a fourth year just starting.
 This initiative has resulted in many thousands of Expressed Sequence Tags
 (ESTs) being deposited in the public databases (with the clones from which
 they were generated available on request to anyone who wants them for
 further characterisation).
 Each year, the gene discovery labs have to re-apply to WHO for continuation
 of funding and we would like to gather information on how useful the data
 is to the wider community in order to support our reapplication. Obviously,
 in cases where we are requested to supply a clone, we know the data is
 useful. However, in many circumstances, it makes sense for workers to
 design primers from sequences in the databases and use these primers to
 amplify up probes to screen their own libraries with, rather than request
 the clones from us. Obviously, in such cases we have no idea that the data
 is being used /useful and we would like to try to determine how often this
 If you have used schisto EST data in this way, please could you reply to
 me, saying (1) that you have done so and (2) how often you have done it.
 TO KNOW WHAT GENES YOU ARE WORKING WITH, just that you are utilising the
 EST data. Only summary statistics will be used in any reports to WHO. Any
 other supporting statements will also be gratefully received.
 Thank you, in advance, for your co-operation.
 David A. Johnston,
 Secretary to the WHO Schistosoma Genome Network,
 Biomedical Parasitology Division,
 Dept. of Zoology,
 The Natural History Museum,
 Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, England, UK.
 Tel: 0171 9389297 (from outside the UK: 44 171 9389297)
 Fax: 0171 9388754 (from outside the UK: 44 171 9388754)
 eMail daj at nhm.ac.uk
 The  Biomedical Parasitology Division is a WHO Collaborating Centre for the
 identification of schistosomes and their snail hosts.

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