J. Craig Venter, formerly of Celera Genomics, announced plans today to open a 40,000-square foot facility in Rockville, Maryland, that will expand by several-fold the sequencing capacity of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR).

In April, Venter, a TIGR board member, announced the creation of the Center for the Advancement of Genomics, to study the public policy aspects of genomics, and the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives, to investigate microbial sources of energy. Both projects, which are supported by Venter's Science Foundation, are adding a burden to TIGR's existing sequencing facility, and the new facility will ease that burden, Venter told The Scientist in a telephone interview.

TIGR's existing facility, which now sequences genomes base by base, will eventually be converted to a genome closure facility that will fill in gaps at the end of projects. "For microbial genomes that (function) is very important, because 90% of...

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