Single chromosome workshops (SCWs) are an important, relatively new development in the global endeavour to map the human genome. They involve a small number of active researchers on a particular chromosome who meet once a year; their purposes are the agreeing of the map to date, the entry of data into GDB, the planning of future strategies to promote closure of the map, and, if appropriate, the sharing of biological materials such as a YAC library of the chromosome in question.
This key activity requires competent coordination. Also the European activities in mapping the human genome have to be adequately represented at these workshops (ie all European scientists with a significant contribution to make will be enabled to participate).
The broad goals of the concerted action are :
to improve the organization of single chromosome workshops (SCWs);
to provide a centralized mechanism for channelling the European participation and contribution, inclusive of support from CEC, for SCWs.
Human gene mappers used to meet every 1 or 2 years at Human Gene Mapping (HGM) workshops, in order to collate work on assigning genes to chromosomes and to construct genetic maps. The tasks of the HGM workshops have been taken over by single chromosome workshops (SCW), which now provide the best means for the international genome community to construct consensus genetic and physical maps of the human genome. HUGO drew up a set of guidelines for the organization of SCWs.
24 SCWs were held in 9 different countries. For all these workshops, HUGO made sure that adequate funding was provided. The SCW coordinator attended the workshops in order to advise on organizational matters, such as the presentation of reports, the submission of data to GDB, and the selection of dates and venus for future meetings.
The achievements of SCWs were reviewed by HUGO staff at the Chromosome Coordinating Meeting where the HUGO guidelines were revised and it was agreed that:
all intending participants must not only be willing to share data, but must have deposited it in GDB prior to the workshop (all data presented at an SCW are considered to be in the pubic domain);
SCW reports should be submitted for publication not later than 1 month after the meeting and funding will be contingent on this;
much more detailed guidance should be provided on data presentation at the workshops. The 8 SCWs held after the HUGO review at CCM92 have all complied with the revised guidelines.
The detailed tasks are :
to organize and coorganize 16 SCWs during 1992;
to provide a comprehensive guide to intending organizers of SCWs on how to plan, run and fund such a workshop;
at each SCW to provide advice on: requirements for data entry to GDB, requirements for the report, and location and timing of the next workshop.
to timulate activity on orphan chromosomes (orphan chromosomes are those chromosomes on which, until now, there is no significant mapping activity and which would lead to regular meetings in the form of a SCW).