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What We Learn from Surveys and Summits

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Anyone who’s ever tried to conduct a survey knows that getting people to respond is not easy. But when you’re interested in the results, it seems, you’ll respond. We thank the 1,521 Genome Technology readers who responded to our salary survey, the sector’s first, this summer. Getting that many responses was a big hint that you’re starved for pay data. We dish it out starting on p. 34, and, with this baseline, we’re planning to provide comprehensive compensation analyses for the sector for years to come.

This issue also includes the fourth installment of our multipart series on RNA interference. This time we tackle whole-genome screening. Several labs around the world are using the new approach to systematically determine the function of every gene in a given genome. It’s a perfect use for public genome sequence data, and is bound to quickly generate fodder for gene annotation databases.

Another evolutionary step in research that could only have come following the availability of genomic data is the disease-focused genome research center. Our report on the next trend in applied genomics asks how forward-thinking this development is. If the broader Human Genome Project improved upon single-gene-focused research by taking a teamwork approach to gene sequencing, how are scientists making an argument for funding research centers that apply all the common technologies and tools of the genomics trade to one single disease? The story starts on p. 28.

We’d like to point out our own continuing evolution too. Some changes to the magazine’s layout and content that you’ll notice in this issue are the outcome of this summer’s GT editorial summit meeting — an annual event that this year provided our staff an excuse to escape Manhattan for a day of brainstorming and introspection to a backdrop of country music in the suburban New Jersey living room of our managing editor.

When it comes to covering the particular technology beats — bioinformatics, bioarrays, SNPs, and proteomics — that comprise what we consider to be the broad genomics sector, GT frequently taps the in-house expertise of the larger GenomeWeb editorial staff. We’ve got a newsroom full of editors here who’ve been penning specialized weekly newsletters for years now in each of those four technology areas. Starting with this issue, we’re showcasing their expertise and treating GT readers to excerpts from their paid-subscription content. We introduce them to you on the Contributors page. The table of contents has been redesigned to highlight their columns, and, in case you’re not already addicted, to make you aware of all the additional content to be found in GenomeWeb Daily News, at www.genomeweb.com. Also, if you’re in the habit of opening up to our company and people index to scan for colleagues’ and competitors’ names, you’ll now find the index at the back of the magazine.

With the arrival of Judy Block, our new associate publisher who’s got decades’ worth of trade magazine publishing experience and tons of contagious energy, discussions are now ongoing around here about how to make the magazine even more useful to you. Watch for more changes in future editions this fall, and don’t hesitate to chime in on the discussion if you’ve got ideas.

Adrienne J. Burke, Editor in Chief
[email protected]

 

Coming next month in GT:

• A report card on the interdisciplinary academic genomics programs: BioX, QB3, CSBi and others

• IT Guy’s annual Back to Bioinformatics School survey

• The GT Interview: Agilent’s Chris van Ingen

 

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.