Model Organisms such as yeast, worm, fly, fish, and mouse are key drivers of biological research, providing experimental systems that yield insights into human biology and health. Model Organism Databases (MODs) and other genome resources like Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium enable researchers all over the world to uncover basic, conserved biological mechanisms relevant to new medical therapies.
NHGRI/NIH has recently advanced a plan to reduce MOD funding while encouraging these resources to share as much infrastructure as possible. While there are a number of advantages of more integration such as consistent user interfaces and vocabularies, unless other sources of funding are found to offset the planned cuts, core functions at WormBase such as extraction of information from papers and genome annotation will be affected. The Worm Board, worm community leaders and other model organism community leaders have come together to write a Statement of Support for the MODs and the GO. We ask all scientists who value the community-specific nature of the MODs to sign this ‘open letter’. We urge you to add your name, and to spread the word to all researchers who value these resources.
Please sign this letter!