NIST seeks reference nucleic acid sequences

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is soliciting "a few good nucleic acid sequences" for possible inclusion in a library of RNA reference materials for use in gene expression research.

NIST is building the library as part of a program with the External RNA Controls Consortium (ERCC) to develop a set of well-characterized RNA sequences that can be used as a simple but reliable check on the performance of DNA microarrays, quantitative Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (QRT-PCR) experiments, and other gene expression assays. (See "Consortium Seeks Comment on Gene Expression Roadmap" www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/tb2005_0826.htm#gene.)

The sequences, which will be used in a manner mimicking portions of typical mammalian mRNA transcripts, must be released to the public domain. The sequence library will be used to assemble RNA materials for the planned test suite of external RNA controls. To ensure the broadest possible base library of sequences, NIST has extended the deadline for inclusion in the first round of testing to April 28, 2006. For details, see "Notice of Intent To Establish the NIST Nucleic Acid Sequence Library," Federal Register, Feb. 28, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 39), pp 10012-10013.

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