Drosophila is an important model for the study of genetics, development, gene regulation, systems biology and neurobiology. Genetically, it is the most fully characterized metazoan. Because of evolutionary conservation, Drosophila has turned out to be an important model for fundamental studies of medical, agricultural, and environmental interest. For medicine it is important not only that the use of Drosophila permits rigorous, high resolution study of highly conserved processes but that >75% of human disease genes have Drosophila homologs and that Drosophila models of important diseases can be studied. More recently it has become apparent that knowledge of the systems biology of Drosophila will be central to the use of genomics to study the environmental impact (e.g. on other arthropods) and public health consequences of environmental toxicants. The increasing application of high-throughput genomics techniques by fly workers is paving the way for a comprehensive functional genomics of Drosophila. To reach this goal, the community has required - and continues to require ~ ready, economical access to the genomics materials produced by these efforts. The Drosophila Genomics Resource Center (DGRC) provides the research community with access to these resources and facilitates their effective use. Specifically, the DGRC: 1. Provides broad access to genomics resources by acquiring, archiving, curating, and distributing resources including, clones, vectors, and cell lines. 2. Facilitates effective use of genomics resources by providing web based documentation, protocols, and guidelines;email and telephone help;outreach at conferences;and workshops. 3. Through its efforts on Emerging Technologies ~ soliciting new resources and developing new protocols ~ it opens new opportunities for the use of these genomics resources. The DGRC is important to the Drosophila research community. The DGRC has 7500 users (cumulative over 8 years) in 3400 laboratories, adds 600 users per year, and makes >2000 shipments of materials per year. User surveys document the importance of these efforts to Drosophila researchers.
Drosophila has been historically one of the best organisms in which to study fundamental genetics - including genetic processes important in humans;it remains so today. More recently it has become clear that Drosophila is an excellent organism in which to study some human infectious diseases, numerous neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer, and in which to do drug discovery.
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