News & CommentGenome Research

Private Help for a Public Database?

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Science  01 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5364, pp. 667-668
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5364.667

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has pledged $30 million to create a public database of genome markers called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), but it's unknown whether private companies, which are likely to generate vast quantities of SNPs, will also join in. Worried that NIH's planned expenditure for SNPs collection may not be adequate to move the field forward as rapidly as possible, a retired vice president from the pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co. Inc. organized a private meeting of drug company executives on 8 April in New York City to try to interest them in contributing "in cash or in kind" to a public SNPs database. How well his plea is succeeding may be evident at a second meeting he is planning later this month.