Conclusions

While only 16 years old, the term and field of genomics is a mainstay in current research programs. High-throughput data collection and powerful computers are enabling scientists to take more holistic views toward research pertaining to genetics. Almost all research tools used in genomics are the same procedures implemented in genetic research, just on a much larger scale. Comparative mapping and gene expression can be conducted on a gene-by-gene basis, and sequence comparisons can be performed with only short segments of DNA. What really makes an approach a genomic approach is the magnitude of the study or the proportion of the genome being evaluated.

Eventually, researchers will have the reagents/resources necessary to conduct whole genome studies for most economically important species. More mammalian species will have their genomes sequenced, and researchers working with species for which the genome is not se-quenced will often be able to use reagents from closely related species to facilitate their research.

The rate at which data are collected is currently creating bottlenecks at the data management and analysis steps. However, as computers become more powerful and statistical algorithms more sophisticated, many of these bottlenecks will probably be alleviated. Then the rate-limiting step will be data collection or formulation of new research hypotheses.

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