Today, two companies merged. This is not a big deal really - companies merge all the time. This time, BioTime acquired XenneX Inc. But what that really means is the creation of the world's largest database of human genes ever.
The database is really three databases that are now one. "This platform will include GeneCards®: the leading human gene database; the LifeMap™ database of embryonic development, stem cell research and regenerative medicine; and MalaCards, the human disease database," the press release explains.
Having all that information in one, easy to search database, can really only be a good thing. “We believe that centralized online databases of biological knowledge will become indispensable tools for research in the field of regenerative medicine,” Michael D. West, BioTime’s CEO, said in a written statement when the merger agreement was first announced.
Once the data is all together, researchers will be able to generate cells that are applicable in the laboratory setting. "Because the complexity of human development is mirrored by the complexity of cell types arising from [human embryonic stem cells] and [induce pluripotent stem] cells, there is a great need for a database to aid researchers in selecting the progenitor cell lines that are most likely to develop into tissues usable in cell replacement therapies," the release explains.
Image: Nissim Benvenisty