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Guide to Genotyping Technologies, the Institute for Comparative Genomics, the Launch of TCGA, more


Ten years ago, Genome Technology published a guide to genotyping technologies that includes products — complete with performance and pricing information — from 21 vendors. Michael Boyce-Jacino, who was then chief technology officer at the Princeton, NJ-based Orchid BioSciences, now Orchid Cellmark, said the SNP-technology market was "early in its exploding phase" at the time GT's March 2001 issue went to press. Boyce-Jacino also predicted that many genotyping technology firms would merge. "There's definitely not room for all these companies," he told GT. Post-consolidation, he expected there would be "five or six purveyors of SNPs and a few dominant toolmakers." Arguably, Boyce-Jacino was more or less correct. Most SNP service providers perform genotyping on either the Affymetrix or Illumina platforms, though of course some labs use alternative technologies.

GT's March 2006 issue reported on the launch of the Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Now, with a staff of more than 70, the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics continues to support comparative genomics research efforts, with a focus on microbial science. Five years ago, GT also reported on The Cancer Genome Atlas, which NCI and NHGRI had launched as a pilot project in December 2005. TCGA researchers have since published several high-profile papers in Nature, Bioinformatics, and PNAS, among other journals.

This time last year, GT profiled the work of several groups that were using a diverse set of techniques to unravel molecular complexity at the single-cell level. In March 2010, the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences' Ramunas Stepanauskas described his team's effort to catalog single-cell amplified microbial genomes from the mesopelagic zone — between 200 and 1,000 meters below sea level. In October, Stepanauskas et al. report in The ISME Journal on a library of single amplified genomes — or SAGs — from small, heterotrophic protists from the Gulf of Maine. "Single-cell sequencing has the potential to more accurately assess protistan community composition than previously established methods," the authors write in their report. "In addition, the creation of SAG libraries opens opportunities for the analysis of multiple genes or entire genomes of the uncultured protist groups."

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