Welcome to BioNickOmics – a trivial blog in the ever increasing world of bioinformatics. This is more about writing for myself, as I delve into a new direction of research – Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics.
For many years I have enjoyed all aspects of computing, always fast to adapt with new software and hardware. Friends have always questioned why I didn’t pick up programming or bioinformatics many, many years ago. The main reason I hadn’t gone in that direction was my primary research focus has always been wet-lab with a passion for working on human disease systems and therapeutics. For the past year or so I have been involved in projects that require understanding of NGS data analysis, so combined with my lab experience I am now pushing into unknown areas – gaining skills to bridge the fields biology and computer science.
Since the human genome reference sequence was completed, many exciting technological advances have come through. Sequencing of the human genome initially cost millions, it currently costs around $1000, it is now within budgets of clinical and basic research labs to sequence patients genomes/exomes.
What does this mean for the typical wet-lab research scientist?
Good question and not an easy one to answer. However, as ‘omics research becomes common place in the lab, research lab scientists are going to find that the understanding of computer pipelines and output will be a frequent project requirement. As computer scientists develop more sophisticated algorithms, the application and conclusions from such analysis will require the skills of lab researchers to interpret data with relevance to our research. The gap between wet-lab and computer scientists will narrow, technologies will merge and more skill sets will be needed to carry out our research.