Re: They are creating a database ...
Some people have this very strong aversion to databases. They don't necessarily provide a reason, and if they did you wouldn't understand it. I've seen lots of people do this, including several types who know about databases but still use spreadsheets. Part of it might be that they don't want to have to write the UI around the database and the only reasonably common portable database format is SQLite*, but that's not a great reason.
*For example, the MS Access database format isn't easy to open if you don't have a license for Access. Dumps from other databases might need tailoring if you're using a different server, or people just don't want to run servers. I view an SQLite file as a perfectly valid way to send a dataset, but I'm comfortable issuing SQL queries. I don't know if there are good GUIs for that which allow viewing, sorting, adding, and all of that without needing to learn SQL, but if not maybe we should write one for the biologists. Anyone want to collaborate on that open source project?
By the way, XKCD has been prescient as always.