More than 8500 researchers have signed a letter asking the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to reconsider plans to reduce funding for model-organism databases (MODs). In May, the National Human Genome Research Institute informed investigators leading five databases—Flybase, Mouse Genome Informatics, Rat Genome Database, WormBase, Saccharomyces Genome Database, and Zebrafish Model Organism Database—of plans to reduce overall funding by 30–40 percent.
“Without the systematic organization of the MODs, each of our research efforts would be drastically impeded and in some cases impossible, slowing the pace of discovery and reducing the efficient use of NIH funding,” the letter reads.
The letter was posted on the Genetics Society of America website on June 21. “Charter signatories” included leaders of the American Society of Cell Biology, Society for Developmental Biology, and Genetics Society of America and twelve Nobel laureates. Researchers are invited to add their signatures electronically.