Macaque advocates seek higher status

NIH genome priorities misplaced, say miffed monkey researchers.

Tabitha Powledge(tam@nasw.org)
Sep 15, 2002

Stung by a second-place finish last May in the race to be officially declared a high-priority genome project, partisans of the rhesus macaque plan to try again. They say they will submit a revamped white paper making the case for Macaca mulatta by the next deadline, 10 October. Judging from recent events, the monkey's chances look good.

One of the three organisms the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) added to the high-priority bin last week was the formerly obscure but genetically fascinating ciliate Oxytricha trifallax. Along with the rhesus monkey, Oxytricha also had been designated only 'moderate' priority in May. But Oxytricha researchers rewrote the white paper, submitted it by the last deadline, and this time made the cut. "The priority is always subject to re-evaluation and is not a permanent designation," explained Harvard's William M. Gelbart, who heads NHGRI's genome selection committee.

NHGRI made that clear...

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