CWA Working Groups communicate via MyExperiment

July 31, 2009

Several of the Working Groups have now set out their ‘stall’ on the MyExperiment scientific collaboration platform. Those interested in participating should register in MyExperiment and request membership of the group(s) they want to join for the discussion. Groups that have not yet done so are invited to create a Group on MyExperiment as well.


Agreement on DNA bar code for plants

July 30, 2009

For animals there was agreement earlier, but now there is agreement for a system of ‘barcodes’ to identify plant species. See the article in Scientific American.

CWA Working Groups ready to go

July 10, 2009

For most working groups a Chair has now been confirmed and those groups are ready to start their activities (see the tab Groups). Anybody who wants to participate in the capacity of either a Member or a Reviewer, or just an Observer, is most welcome. They should take up contact with the respective Chair, via the email address

Francis Collins named as NIH chief

July 9, 2009

Physician and geneticist Francis Collins was nominated by President Barack Obama on 8 July as the next director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Read more


July 4, 2009

The University of Manchester and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have launched a major new e-science resource for biologists – which could accelerate research into treatments for H1N1 flu and cancer: See the full news release on the web site of the University of Manchester.

The Changing Face of Biobanks

July 2, 2009

Jeanene Swanson in Genome Technology, July/August 2009


“Biobanking is changing rapidly, and it’s in no small part due to the demands of systems biology. Many [large-scale biobanks] are also adding clinical annotation, genetic data, and increasingly genomic, proteomic, and other ‘omics’ information.”

“Because biobanks not only collect and store specimens, but serve as a library of sorts for researchers wishing to work with these samples, they have many requirements.”

“The goal, says Jennifer Harris at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, is to develop a common infrastructure that encourages sharing in order to make high-throughput work possible. “Getting the most out of the data will require a certain amount of sharing and data release,” she says.”

Full story

EU to Develop Prototype for Biobanking Initiative

July 2, 2009

(From GenomeWeb News, 1 July 2009)


The body focused on enhancing Europe’s biobanking potential for research purposes has completed a review of over 300 biobanks and now will move on to the next phase of its efforts to develop a prototype for an international system.

The Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, or BBMRI, aims to provide a Europe-wide collection of samples of biomedical quality. Currently, the research infrastructure includes 51 participating institutions and 190 associated organizations, representing 30 EU and associated countries. In the upcoming prototype development phase, the project partners hope to close “a potential gap between the planning and implementation phases of the project, to be functional by the end of 2010.”

This preparatory phase of the BBMRI program has been funded with €5 million ($7.1 million) by the EU’s Seventh Framework Program.

Read more…