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I am not a morning person. There are some people who say that about themselves, but if you run into them at 7:00 in the morning and they haven’t had their coffee yet, they still look human and can string words together into relatively coherent sentences. I am really not a morning person. Catch me too early in the day, and the only sounds I can make are “snrffblmmp” and “nmrrphlm.”

So it’s nothing short of a miracle that, on several occasions in the weeks leading up to the publication of this issue, I traveled far and wide to attend meetings at 8:00 in the morning. What could possibly get me out of bed before my requisite 11 hours of sleep? In short, you.

Genome Technology is making changes. They’re still under wraps, but you can look forward to seeing them in the October issue. As far as you’re concerned, though, the critical thing is that all of these changes are based on your requests. Those 8:00 am meetings were focus groups where we threw dozens of questions at readers, trying to get a sense of what you like, what you don’t like, and what you’re looking for in our magazine. As this goes to press, we’re about to send out a Web-based reader survey, and we have more focus groups on the horizon. In a field as fast-paced as this one, we know that we have to evolve along with the community to keep ourselves relevant. That’s a challenge we’re used to, and I think we’ll continue to meet it over the years thanks to informative feedback from readers like you.

But back to this issue, which is a great one. Our cover story this month is on the growing controversy around biomarkers. Everyone agrees that they’re the future for diagnostics, but the rising debate over which biomarker is best — from SNPs to protein expression, gene expression to DNA methylation — keeps our heads spinning, and no doubt does the same to yours. Senior Editor John MacNeil tackled that topic and found experts to boil down the issue based on ease of disease association, maturity of technology, regulatory agencies’ outlook, and more. Complete with a reference chart on the pros and cons of each type, I think you’ll want to read this before taking on your next biomarker research project.

In other news, we’ve got a feature article on biodefense funding. As budget increases all but dry up for many government agencies, it feels like the only places where money’s still pouring in revolve around biodefense. So much of this young field is building on advances in genomics, bioinformatics, and proteomics that you might find your research meets a key need in the biodefense front. Check out this article to find out where the money is and where the research gaps are to see if it’s an avenue for you.

Meredith W. Salisbury, Editor

What do you think of Genome Technology? Let me know how we’re doing by e-mailing me at [email protected] or by calling me at +1.212.651.5635.

Coming next in our September issue:

• RNAi on microarrays: The latest fad, or a new way to do research? We’ll look into who’s doing RNAi using microarrays and give you a tour of vendors who are offering — or planning to offer — array products geared toward RNAi studies. Don’t buy until you check out this overview of the newest technology trend.

• The $1,000 genome: The term was coined a few years ago, but how close are we? After a roundup of existing sequencing technology and how it’s doing on the cost scale, we’ll introduce you to bleeding-edge tools that could play a critical role in breaking the price barrier.

• Survey says: Don’t miss the results of our RNAi reader survey, designed to find out how RNAi is being used, where it’s taking hold, and where its biggest impact is expected to be in the coming years.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.