8 June 2000
An ad hoc committee appointed by the Drosophila Board has been given the task of suggesting to the Board the optimal locations for U.S. distribution of 50 copies of the Drosophila Gene Collection, as announced by Gerry Rubin at the Pittsburgh Drosophila meeting (please note that international and corporate distributions will be handled separately). This set represents the 5,849 unique Drosophila cDNAs described in Rubin et al., Science 287:2222-2224 (2000), and will be provided as a set of frozen bacterial cultures in 384 well plate format. The cost of replicating these 50 sets is being covered by Gerry; the only immediate cost to the recipient labs will be the Fed Ex charges for the dry ice shipment of the plates.
We ask the community to assist in this process by providing email input with respect to the optimal distribution of this limited resource. A number of factors will be considered. Given that single clones will be available from a variety of sources, special consideration will be given to locations that will use the entire set, e.g. labs prepared to produce cDNA microarrays. A second major consideration will be geographical distribution to provide convenient access for the maximum possible number of labs. Another important consideration will be the ability and willingness of specific labs to serve as local sources for distributing further copies of the collection. Accurate replication of such collections is a technically challenging task requiring the services of skilled personnel and robotic liquid handling systems.
It would be most helpful to the committee if, in the historical collaborative spirit of the Drosophila community, local groups of Drosophila research labs (e.g the fly labs in San Diego, or the fly labs in adjacent groups of states with a low density of research labs) would confer among themselves and attempt to reach a consensus regarding the optimal location or locations for the collection, so that the committee does not have to make these decisions without input.
This mailing is going to the collection of U.S. email addresses maintained by the Drosophila Stock Center. If you are a student, postdoc or lab staff member, please bring this subject to the attention of your laboratory's principal investigator, in case they are not on the mailing list.
Please respond to [email protected] with your advice and suggestions, all of which will be considered by the committee. We hope that shipment of these clones may begin in the latter part of June, and would appreciate your response within the next two weeks if at all possible.
Ken Burtis Thom Kaufman Terry Orr-Weaver