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The American Academy of Microbiology releases report

points out that there are several hurdles to be overcome before genomics can be used most effectively in studying these communities, such as the challenges of coordinating research programs centered around critical biological questions and applying appropriate and cost-effective technologies to answer them. The tremendous complexity of microbial communities and the difficulties of measuring all the relevant internal and environmental variables associated with them pose additional challenges. Certain technical problems, such as identifying minority subpopulations, deciphering diverse chromosome structures, and complex genome assembly problems must be tackled to accelerate progress in microbial community genomics. The report also identifies a number of educational needs, including cross-disciplinary training at the graduate and postgraduate levels in fields melding biology and computer science or mathematics.

The report is based on an AAM-sponsored colloquium held in October 2002 in Longboat Key, FL, which brought together 27 scientists from academia and industry to discuss the current state of knowledge in microbial genomics. In focusing on the great potential of genomics to advance our understanding of microbial communities and ecosystems, it outlines future directions for research and recommends new solutions to the challenges of applying genomics to study microbial systems.


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Contact: Barbara Hyde
bhyde@asmusa.org
202-942-9206
American Society for Microbiology
7-Apr-2004


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