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I.M.A.G.E. Consortium

“Sharing resources to achieve a common goal — the discovery of all genes”

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History and Goals

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The I.M.A.G.E. Consortium was initiated in 1993 by four academic groups on a collaborative basis after informal discussions led to a common vision of how to achieve an important goal in the study of the human genome: the Integrated Molecular Analysis of Genomes and their Expression Consortium's primary goal is to create arrayed cDNA libraries and associated bioinformatics tools, and make them publicly available to the research community. The primary organisms of interest include intensively studied mammalian species, including human, mouse, rat and non-human primate species. We have also focused our efforts on several commonly studied model organisms; as part of this effort we have arrayed cDNAs from zebrafish, and Fugu (pufferfish) as well as Xenopus laevis and X. tropicalis (frog). Utilizing high speed robotics, we have arrayed over nine million individual cDNA clones into 384-well microtiter plates, and have created sufficient replicas to distribute copies both to sequencing centers and to a network of five distributors located worldwide. Investigators who identify a clone of interest then contact any one of the distributors to obtain these clones -- free of restriction -- for further study.

The I.M.A.G.E. Consortium represents the world's largest public cDNA collection, and works closely with the National Institutes of Health's Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) to help it achieve its goal of creating a full-length cDNA clone for every human and mouse gene. I.M.A.G.E. Consortium is also a member of the newly-formed , working to generate a complete set of expression-ready open reading frame clones representing each human gene.

Custom informatics tools have been developed in support of these projects to better allow the research community to select clones of interest and track and collect all data deposited into public databases about those clones and their related sequences. These web-based tools can be accessed here and include the I.Q. (a general-purpose SQL-based query program) and IMAGEne (a sequence-based clustering tool). In addition, an extensive tracking system internal to the project allows the tracking of clones and associated IDs through and beyond the I.M.A.G.E. Consortium pipeline.

Our clones are publicly available, free of any royalties, and may be used by anyone agreeing with our guidelines.

Read an editorial in The Scientist about the I.M.A.G.E. Consortium (February 15, 1999).

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