HC Deb 27 June 1988 vol 136 cc5-6W
Mr. Michael Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list information services,

College Aulhority Political make up
Exeter Devon No overall majority
North Devon Devon No overall majority
Nelson and Colne Lancashire No overall majority
Strode Somerset No overall majority
South East Derbyshire Derbyshire Labour
W. R. Tuson Lancashire No overall majority
Cricklade Hampshire No overall majority
Yeovil Somerset No overall majority
Leigh Wigan Labour
Accrington and Rossendale Lancashire No overall majority
Richmond Richmond Liberal
Wigan Wigan Labour
Oswestry Shropshire Conservative/Independent
Wakefield Wakefield Labour

receiving Government funding, which supply biological data, including sequence and molecular structure data, plant and animal cell lines, regulatory affairs and patent registrations, to research institutions and companies with biotechnological interests; what is the current level of financial support for such services; and what future developments in biological information services are proposed.

Mr. Jackson

The following information services are funded by the research councils from their grant-in-aid from the Department's science budget.1. Protein structure sequence database. Science and Engineering Council with University of Leeds and Birkbeck College. SERC support £823,000 over four years. 2. DNA sequence data bank at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in conjunction with, and to complement, Genbank in the USA. The operating costs are not known, but the Medical Research Council's contribution to the EMBL total budget will be £2.6 million in the 1988–89 financial year. Major users of the data have direct access and the MRC funds one scientist to provide a centralised UK facility for accessing the databank at a cost of £10,000 per annum. 3. Systematics of microfungi. Science and Engineering Research Council with Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, International Mycological Institute, Kew. SERC support £187,000 over four years. 4. Information on the following collections is available on request, but it is not possible to identify expenditure directly relating to provision of information:

  1. (a) The National Environment Research Council's culture centre for algae and protozoa;
  2. (b) The Agricultural and Food Research Council's national collections of food bacteria and yeast cultures;
  3. (c) The Medical Research Council (MRC) radiobiology unit's mouse mutant stock facility;
  4. (d) The national collection of animal cells, part funded by the MRC and SERC.

In addition, a number of research council institutes maintain small data bases primarily for their own use.

The research councils expect to create new data bases in the future and several proposals are under consideration.