Eagle Genomics was at the ISAG 2010 (International Society for Animal Genetics), Edinburgh. Apart from the picturesque Scotland, the conference programme was very interesting. It was kick started by "The power of comparative genetics and genomics" by Prof. Kerstin Lindbld-Toh from the Broad Institute and was a well presented review of using comparative genomics to find genes of medical relevance, which is very crucial for pharmacogenomics studies. The conference workshops were categorised to facilitate delegates switching between the talks and skip the irrelevant bits (which particularly helped me). Talks varied from very broad areas including reports from Turkey and Duck genome sequencing projects, finding structural variations in the genome using next-generation sequencing to using genomic data to dissect the genetic control of complex traits in an organism. There were a couple of posters about predicting novel miRNAs from the next-generation sequencing data...which we recently worked on and developed an pipeline which is going to be presented by my colleague Nick James at the Next Generation Sequencing conference in Nottingham, UK.
After talking to a few delegates at the conference who are working in similar areas, I noticed many research groups/institutes are catching up with high-throughput sequencing technology and making use of this for their research. However, once the sequencing is done many are left with a question 'Whats next after sequencing?'. Not to forget, depending on the study/project, the data produced by sequencing machine needs to be organized, cleaned up, assembled, and analysed. The true power of the technology or answers to the scientific questions lies in the gigabytes or even terabytes of data sitting in the hard disk. However due to various financial constriants, very little or no money is being allocated to the analysis and in some cases, there are not many readily available software to use for the project requirements. It seems very unlikely that a single software/pipeline can handle, process and analyse sequencing data from different project domains. We hope to create a hub for next-generation sequencing pipelines in the near future.