Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Abstract

The advent of modern biotechnology has shed a new light on the existing collections of microorganisms and of other biotic materials, which have vegetated for a long time in the shadow of more spectacular branches of science. At the same time, it has shown the need to establish collections of new types of material which are becoming available, such as cells, tissues and DNA probes. Almost more important than the collections themselves are the data on the material which is or was in such a collection, together with the availability of these data for the scientific and industrial community. When pushed into the limelight, the collections of microorganisms in the European Community turned out to be numerous but scattered, underfunded and understaffed, and in part unprepared for their new glory, though scientifically competent. In contrast, in the USA, one central and well-funded service collection has managed to cope rather rapidly with the new challenge and has established a leading role as a service collection. Progress has also been made in the Community by reorganizing national collections as in the Netherlands, strengthening a national collection as in F.R. Germany, or setting up a database on microorganisms such as MicIS in the UK. The Biotechnology Action Programme (BAP) of the Community is presently funding a limited number of projects which aim at establishing a Microbial Information Network in Europe (MINE) and at stimulating collaboration between collections, thus making their work more efficient. More still needs to be done: Bringing together the major European service collections in a European Type Culture Collection. Extending MINE to all the Member Countries and giving access to the system to countries outside the Community. Integrating strain data with other biological data in coherent form in a Biotechnology Data Library. Developing worldwide directories of strain data bases such as the MSDN. Developing central collections of new materials such as DNA probes which are vital for rapid advances in biotechnology.

Additional information

Authors: REINIGER P CEC - BRUXELLES (BELGIUM), CEC - BRUXELLES (BELGIUM)
Bibliographic Reference: DIVERSITE BIOLOGIQUE: UN DEFI POUR LA SCIENCE, L'ECONOMIE ET LA SOCIETE, DUBLIN (IRELAND), MARCH 4-6, 1987 WRITE TO CEC LUXEMBOURG, DG XIII/A2, POB 1907 MENTIONING PAPER E 33204 ORA
Availability: Can be ordered online
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