South San Francisco-based Exelixis has released nearly 18,000 strains of Drosophila melanogaster to the academic community. The collection is part of a larger assembly of 29,000 strains created by transposon insertion, and it represents, according to an editorial accompanying the release, "what may be the largest public release of scientific material in history."123

"We had many long discussions within the company about how best to further develop the technology, and in the end we decided to release it for everyone in academia to use," says Greg Plowman, senior vice president of research at Exelixis. Researchers at for-profit firms, though, must still license the technology.

The strains, representing about half of all known fly genes, will be split between Indiana University's Drosophila Stock Center in Bloomington http://flystocks.bio.indiana.edu and the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School (contact drosophila@hms.harvard.edu). "It's exciting because it can take up to a year...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?