Genomics

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Genomics

What a fabulous combination. This week, Congress has held hearings on the direct-to-customer (‘DTC’) genetic testing industry. It appears, based on previous statements by FDA officials, that they have publicly contradicted themselves–or been willfully ignorant–about the larger scientific benefits from DTC testing. This week’s hearings also seem to have attracted some serious hyperbolic anti-DTC testimony,…

Detroit Industry by Diego Rivera To put this post in larger context, Paul Krugman stirred up quite a ruckus with a column that argued that a lot of jobs for college graduates are being rendered obsolete by technological change. For scientists, this is not a new phenomenon. At a recent celebration type-of-thing, a colleague explained…

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) recently announced that it will shut down the Short Read Archive (SRA). The SRA stored the semi-processed data for genomics projects, so researchers could examine the raw data for a genomics project. The reason given by NCBI is “budget constraints.” While I’m saddened by this, I’m not surprised,…

No, We Don’t Need to Slow Down Moore’s Law

Matthew Yglesias writes regarding Moore’s Law, which states that CPU transistor counts double every two years: My pet notion is that improvements in computer power have been, in some sense, come along at an un-optimally rapid pace. To actually think up smart new ways to deploy new technology, then persuade some other people to listen…

Museums and Microbial Curation: About Time!

By way of Jonathan Eisen, we discover that museums are starting to hire microbiology curators. I’m very excited about this, probably more excited than Eisen (and he’s a pretty excitable guy). In part, I’ve always loved museums and have thought that building microbiological collections for museums would be a neat thing to do. But there…

$1,000 Genomes and Metadata

Matthew Herper rounds up some of the discussion about the decreasing cost of genomics. But one thing that hasn’t been discussed much at all is the cost of all of the other things needed to make sense of genomes, like metadata. I briefly touched on this issue previously: A related issue is metadata–the clinical and…

…or it won’t be much of a revolution. Yesterday, I discussed the difference between a DNA sequencing revolution and a genomics revolution, and how we have a long way to go before there’s a genome sequencer in every pot (or something). But let’s say, for argument’s sake, these problems are overcome–and I think they will…

Last week, Forbes had an article about the advances in genomics, which focused on the Ion Torrent sequencing platform. It’s a good overview of genomics and the Ion Torrent technology, albeit a bit much on the cheerleading side. For instance, this: Audaciously named the Personal Genome Machine (PGM), the silicon-based device is the smallest and…

On Genetic Denialism

Mary Carmichael has a great video (and associated post) about the rise of genetic denialism–ridiculous arguments that ‘genes don’t cause disease.’* Carmichael offers two reasons why the argument is flawed; I’ll offer a third in a bit, but I do want to note one minor point of disagreement with Carmichael. If you go to roughly…

To paraphrase Mark Twain, biological understanding may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. There’s a recent commentary, “The Great DNA Data Deficit: Are Genes for Disease a Mirage?“, from the Bioscience Resource Project which, if Twitter is any guide (and how could Twitter possibly not be?), is leading to some angry rebuttals, even as…