March 2010

TAIRing at Research

The Future of Databases

Like other National Institutes of Health-funded projects, many genomics databases are supported by grants that must be renewed every several years. While the NIH continues to support several databases, the grants for two major databases, Flybase and Saccharomyces Genome Database, are up for renewal in 2011.

As for TAIR, Huala has discussed the situation with officials at the NIH in hopes that they might fund the database. Although conversations are ongoing, the NIH seems “reluctant to take on another model,” Huala said.

For now, TAIR is exploring other funding sources, including corporate sponsorships. Huala said she believes requiring users or institutions to purchase subscriptions may drive away many academic researchers.

Kyle M. Brown ( is an ASBMB science policy fellow.

Do you use TAIR? Tell us how you feel about the funding situation in the comment section below.

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