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Predictions and Changes

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It’s a prediction we’ve all heard before: when sequencing got cheap enough, prognosticators said, scientists would abandon their microarrays entirely. We’d all be using chip scanners for doorstops.

In our cover story, we follow up on that prediction to see if arrays really are spiraling into obsolescence. It turns out that while next-gen sequencing has taken away — apps like ChIP appear set for a sequencer-only world — it has also given, creating demand for arrays in new sample prep and validation techniques.

Just as the sequencing and array markets are evolving, so too is your favorite community magazine. You’ll find a number of changes this month in Genome Technology, the most noticeable of which is our brand new design. I’m delighted to introduce you to our fresh look, cooked up for us by designer extraordinaire Therese Shechter, whose work has also graced the pages of Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and Fortune. Therese based the layout on your feedback, so I hope you find that the bigger page labels, new fonts, and clear topic indicators make the magazine even easier to read.

In addition, we’ve got a few pages making their debut this month. As more people are finding high-quality, thought-provoking content in blogs, we decided it was time to include a page in the magazine dedicated to the best of the blogosphere. In each issue, we’ll round up some hot topics of the month and point you to particularly relevant blog posts in this digest, which we call Zeitgeist. We’ve also added a fun column called Lab Reunion, in which we home in on one PI and trace the family tree, as it were, of students who have gone through that scientist’s lab. For our first edition, we check on Bruce Roe and the dozens of researchers who have trained in his lab during the past 36 years.

Even our tech guide is different this month. Ciara Curtin oversaw GT’s first Best Practices guide — it’s chock-full of practical information just like the usual technical guides, but this one sticks to higher-level questions about sample prep.

Last but not least, February is a special month for GT: At two conferences this month — Advances in Genome Biology and Technology and the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities — we’ll be inviting attendees to join us for a night out. Hope to see you there!

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.