This year's Advances in Genome Biology and Technology meeting in Marco Island, Florida, was sold out very shortly after it was announced, leaving many researchers out in the cold. But GenomeWeb's Editor-in-Chief Meredith Salisbury managed to get there, and sent us some interesting tidbits about this year's happenings. Because of the heavy snow and ice storms over most of the US — particularly the Midwest and the Northeast — and Europe, a lot of people had trouble getting to Florida for the beginning of the conference. All of the early chatter, Salisbury says, was about layovers, flight delays, and various airlines' strategies for de-icing their planes, instead of being about sequencing. At the meeting kickoff, though, it was back to business, with the Washington University in St. Louis' Elaine Mardis announcing that the usual meeting cap had been increased to 800 people.
Over at Omics! Omics! Keith Robison laments the fact that even had he been able to register for AGBT this year, he wouldn't have been able to get there as Boston's Logan Airport closed Tuesday morning and didn't reopen again until later this week. But the news from various vendors has him excited — as he follows along on Twitter — with RainDance announcing a new product for targeting FFPE DNA, and LifeTech announcing another "Grand Challenge" contest where $1 million is awarded to someone who can sequence an entire human genome and transcriptome from a single cancer cell using the SOLiD platform. The talks have centered around sequencing so far, Robison adds, and upcoming discussions will include topics like sequencing technologies, RNA-Seq, and cancer. Robison is also following along on the blog of Anthony Fejes, who is tweeting and posting from the conference. Among the highlights for Robison are the University of Maryland's Steven Salzberg announcing that the next version of Bowtie will support indels and that the Broad Institute is seemingly devoting 42 CPUs to processing data from each of its HiSeqs.
If you're interested in following along on Twitter, the hashtag for the meeting is #agbt — although someone on Twitter did refer to David Craig as Larry Craig.