Welcome to AllThingsG!

All Things Genomics is an opinion blog that aims to stimulate discussion in the field of genomics. The contributors to AllThingsG have each been in the field for over 10 years, having worked and contributed to the success of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), where the first microbial genome was sequenced back in the early 90's.

We are now located in Baltimore and are part of the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. IGS possesses state-of-the-art genomics and computational facilities, including a free academic Cloud (DIAG, diaggcomputing.org). In building IGS we brought over 35 years of experience with us in both sequencing and bioinformatics/computational analyses.

We will report and comment on news, advances, technologies, interesting papers and even provide tips and tricks on bioinformatic analyses or laboratory techniques. The field is fast moving and spreading across every aspects of our lives. Discoveries linking our genome, microbiome, transcriptome (or simply our 'ome) to health or disease susceptibility are made everyday. However, the field (medical, agricultural or environmental genomics) is in constant flux as new technologies and analytical strategies are developed. While innovation is the hallmark of the field, major gaps and challenges remain.

Foremost amongst these is the democratization of sequencing. While this is a "good thing", the sheer amount of data generated by these instruments prevents optimal usage of that same data! Bioinformatic infrastructure cost is not following the exponential drop in sequencing cost. New models, new strategies to store, access and analyze these large data sets are desperately needed. These challenges are even more evident in the context of systems biology, where many types of information ('omic scale sequence data and associated metadata including clinical information etc.) need to be combined and integrated in order to develop a complete understanding of how organisms actually operate. This knowledge will lead to better understanding of disease outcomes and improved therapeutic interventions.

In the face of these challenges, we hope to bring insights and stimulate discussions and sharing of ideas through this blog. We would welcome new contributors as we hope to build the AllThingsG community!

We also have a Twitter account - @AllThingsGen - Follow us!