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Aiming for Inter-ministry Integration of Life Science Databases

This portal website was launched for life science database integration by four ministries of Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
The integration of life science databases has been accelerated since FY2011 based on the line of the life science project team in the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP), Cabinet Office. All the four ministries collaborate in cataloging, cross-search installation and archiving of databases as steps toward the integration.

Progress scheme for database integration
Fig. 1. Four steps for database integration

database 48Search Databases (DB Catalog)

searchSearch Data (DB Cross Search)

box download_48Use Data (DB Archive)

The portal sites of the four contributing organizations are as follow.

MEXT: National Bioscience Database Center (NBDC) portal site

NBDC website

NBDC handles affairs in integration of life science databases, and funds programs for integration in specific research fields and for technology development. It takes over the challenges of the "MEXT Integrated Database Project", which ended in FY2010, and the "BIRD (BioInformatics R&D) Project", which ended in FY2011.



MHLW: National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition (NIBIOHN) website

NIBIO website

NIBIOHN provides eight databases, including those on research resources such as cells and genes and the toxicogenomics database. Additionally, the site provides a cross-searching service Sagace that you can search across databases about drug-discovery/disease researches, including the above eight.


MAFF: AgrID - Agrigenomics Information Database


AgrID is a portal site of genome information of crops and livestock. AgrID links to web sites of genome sequences, genome annotation, gene expression, mutant resources, etc, as products of genome projects in MAFF.


METI: MEDALS - METI Life Science Integrated Database portal site

medals website

MEDALS consolidates outcomes from life science projects conducted by METI institutes. Databases valuable for life science study are categorized into DNA, genome, protein and RNA databases, and furthermore, the site provides information on analysis tools and project reports.