Not quite a year ago at US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute's seventh annual User Meeting, Carl Zimmer opined that there were too many new genome sequences coming out and that he was weary of them, diagnosing himself with what he dubbed 'Yet Another Genome Syndrome,' or YAGS. Now, though, he writes on his blog that he's been cured.
And the medicine that did the trick was new genomes that have come out that, at the same time, tackled interesting questions about life — this week he writes about the pigeon genome and how it can inform studies of evolution in The New York Times and recently he wrote in Wired about the effort at the National Institutes of Health to use genomics to track a drug-resistant bug in real time.
"The mere existence of one pigeon genome won’t lead me to write a story. But a study that uses forty pigeon genomes to probe the evolution of new forms? Sign me up," he writes, adding that "the antidote to YAGS, in other words, is witnessing genomes in action."