News & CommentMolecular Biology

Unique Protein Database Imperiled

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Science  17 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5264, pp. 946
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5264.946


Molecular biologists around the globe received e-mails last week, urging them to send messages of support for one of their most important databases: SWISS-PROT, a database of amino-acid sequences of naturally occurring proteins, pioneered by Amos Bairoch of the University of Geneva. The database, and others associated with it, has been plunged into crisis by the failure to win a development grant from the European Union. Bairoch and his colleagues are seeking emergency funding to keep the publicly accessible database from being sold to a private company, and they are warning that if no funds are forthcoming, SWISS-PROT could be shut down by the end of June.