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Brutlag, D. L., & Kristofferson, D. (1988). In R. R. Colwell (Ed.), Biomolecular Data: A Resource in Transition (pp. 287-294.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

BIONET: An NIH Computer Resource for Molecular Biology.

D. L. Brutlag & D. Kristofferson

Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University Medical Center, California 94305 and Intelligenetics Inc., Mountain View California 94040.

Bionet is a computer network for molecular biologists and is run as a non-profit resource for the scientific community by IntelliGenetics Inc. Bionet is funded by the NIH Division of Research Resources and provides scientists access to numerous biological sequence databases and to software tools required to analyze. these data (Nucleic Acids Res. 14, 17-20, 1986: Nature 325, 555-556, 1987). Another major goal is to provide a means for electronic communications between scientists to encourage collaborations. Bionet also serves as a central facility for development and distribution of novel software in the area of molecular biology and develops methods for distributed computing.


In addition to the two major nucleic acid sequence databases from GenBank and the EMBL DNA database, Bionet provides access to the PIR protein sequence database, the Cold Spring Harbor restriction enzyme database, the Brookhaven protein structure database, the VectorBank of restriction maps of vectors, phages and vIruses, a compendium of known oncogenes and Lindsley and Grell's Genetic variations of Drosophila melanogaster. Thus on this single resource we have information at several levels of biological function immediately available to the researcher.


The service component of Bionet has been successful as judged by the number of laboratories using the facility (over 500) and the total number of scientists using the software (nearly 2000). The primary attraction of Bionet is the ready availability of welt supported software and databases. Molecular biologists routinely use Bionet to compare their most recent DNA or protein sequences against the currently available sequences. While 1000 complete searches are processed each month on Bionet, nearly 3000 searches of subsets of the database are also performed. The other analytical software Is accessed nearly 10,000 times per month by various Bionet users. Its 22 communications ports are very often full at peak hours and the Bionet community uses considerably more than the 50% of the CPU cycles of a DEC 2065 which is allotted to it by the Bionet Grant.

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