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The major objective of PIR-International is to continue the development of the Protein Sequence Database as an essential public resource for protein sequence information. This database is the world's major protein sequence database and is widely redistributed. The availability of the database is critical to developments in all phases of biomedical research; its use has resulted in major contributions in the study of cancer and carcinogenic processes, AIDS, and many other viral, genetic, and immunological diseases. The information is essential to the basic sciences in areas such as protein and genetic engineering and for interpretation of data generated in large genomic sequencing projects. PIR-International will dynamically maintain its complete and comprehensive set of experimentally determined protein sequences, will enhance these data with related information (including protein feature information not available in GenBank), will organize these data by similarity and evolutionary relationship, will use homology and other biological concepts to annotate these data consistently and comprehensively using accepted nomenclatures and standardized terminologies, and will make the enhanced data accessible to the worldwide scientific community. A major new focus is to refine the scope of the database to address more directly issues concerning the classification of protein sequences and nomenclature standardization, including taxonomy, protein names, superfamily names, protein-specific keywords, and features. These activities will be carried out in concert with the scientific societies and unions. Within the context of PIR- International, the project will continue to evolve as an internationally distributed database effort, providing a firm basis for involving the general scientific community directly in the development and maintenance of the database. In this proposal, we are requesting funding to support the core database activities of this existing public biotechnology information resource. Activities to be supported under this grant are limited to the maintenance and management of the database and to making it available to other researchers. Funding for additional activities associated with the project will be applied for elsewhere.
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