Saturday, December 03, 2005

Genomics in the Post-Genomics Era

Sahotra Sarkar points us to the new Post-Genomics blog, with an impressive list of contributors. I'm having a hard time pinning down the exact dates of the Pre-Genomics, Genomics, and Post-Genomics eras. Francis Collins and colleagues presented a "blueprint for the genomic era" in 2003. Nature, however, also published a jobs editorial entitled Bioinformatics in a post-genomics age in 1997. It seems illogical that the post-genomics age occurred prior to the genomics era.

So, does "post-genomics" really mean anything? In short, no. The longer answer is, well, not really, but kinda, if you look at it one way. Sort of. I see "post-genomics" as a synonym for "the genomics era". There are, in fact, only two eras. We have the time prior to whole genome sequences, or the pre-genomics era. In the last ten years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of sequence data publicly available, including many whole genome sequences. With multiple genome sequences available, we are now in the (post-) genomics era. Call it whichever you prefer, just make sure you understand that there really isn't a difference between the post-genomics and genomics eras.


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