Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Going, Going, Gone?

At the Mermaid's Tale blog, Ken Weiss wonders whether whole-genome sequencing is "fading." There are various indicators — like a recent blog post from Carl Zimmer on his "genome fatigue" — that both researchers and the public are "losing enthusiasm for human whole-genome sequencing," Weiss says.

He adds that a colleague who sits on an NIH grant review panel tells him this particular group is reluctant to fund any more genome-wide association studies. "If this turns out to be more than a few anecdotes or personal opinions, and is actually occurring, it's understandable and to be lauded," Weiss says. "As we think we can truthfully claim, we have for years been warning of the dangers of the kind of overkill that genomics (and, indeed, other 'omics fads) present: promise miracles and you had better deliver!"

In Weiss' opinion, money should be spent on looking at specific problem-causing genes. "The instances of single-gene or major-mutation causation are numerous and real," he adds. "At present, whole-genome sequence data provide too much variation for us to deal with on adequate terms."

That doesn't mean the end of whole-genome sequencing, however. "Whether that will be a rebound towards good science, or a relapse of low payoff, is a matter of opinion," Weiss says.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.