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>>"The outcome of the Human Genome Project is sequence information
in computers, and that's it," says LaBaer. "One of the mistakes that
some people make . . . is they think we have the genes already in
hand. That's not true. It's all in silico. It's all terabytes of information."

For LaBaer, the logical next step is a $100 million-or-so project called the FLEXgene
Consortium - FLEX being an acronym for full-length expression. If LaBaer has his way, public
and private research groups around the world will clone all human genes - 35,000, more or
less - and put the physical clones into a public repository open to any scientist who wants to
use them.

So far, response has been enthusiastic, according to LaBaer, with
representatives of the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome
Trust, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and about 20 private
companies participating in the planning. "Everybody needs the clones.
That's the fundamental thing," he says, describing the shortage of
genes for research as a bottleneck that needs to be cleared before many promising projects,
including those at his institute, can go very far.<<
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