FlyBase is a long-term informatics resource that provides the scientific community with core genetic and genomic information on the major biomedical genetic model, Drosophila melanogaster, and other flies of the genus Drosophila. With the continuing explosion of information in major genome-wide datasets as well as the scientific literature, the role of a model organism database in capturing, organizing and distilling the key information is essential to researchers using Drosophila as their experimental system, to groups using the results of Drosophila research to inform their studies on other systems (including researchers focusing on humans), and to computational biologists who require such comprehensive, well structured data sources. FlyBase will continue to curate the scientific literature, annotate the D. melanogaster genome through expert manual curation, annotate the other Drosophila species by a combination of automatic and selective manual approaches, and capture large-scale functional genomics datasets. These diverse sets of data will be integrated within the FlyBase database and presented to the public through regular monthly updates to the FlyBase website (http://flybase.org). FlyBase thus serves as one of the public portals to data produced by a variety of sequencing and functional genomics projects supported by NHGRI and the other institutes of NIH, as well as by other U.S. and international funding agencies, and to the research literature that is produced in part by taking advantage of these major datasets. Joining the three currently participating FlyBase sites for this renewal is a group at the University of New Mexico which will play a central role in the FlyBase Minority Action Plan.
Research on Drosophila melanogaster continues to be at the forefront of studies of biological pathways and networks in the context of cell and developmental biology, neurobiology and behavioral biology. It has also been one of the most significant systems for studying variation, complex traits, population biology, ecology and evolution. The insights from Drosophila research are of direct importance to human health research, both because of the tremendous similarities between the Drosophila and human gene sets and biological processes, allowing Drosophila research to inform studies of human biology and disease, but also because Drosophila melanogaster is the closest model for research on insect vectors of disease.
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