Brian Zambrowicz
Now that the human genome has been sequenced to a rough draft, the scientific community is looking down the road to what's next. Last month's announcement (see page 1) spotlights a nascent area of science called functional genomics. Making sense of the sequence in terms of gene function will provide research fodder--and jobs--for the years to come.

"Functional genomics is everything after the sequencing studies are finished," remarks Ruben Abagyan, director of computational biology and information technology at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation and a professor at the Scripps Research Institute, both in San Diego. "The [former] race was to sequence; now the race is who will understand that sequence."

Because knowing the genome's sequence opens doors to many types of studies, there are many ways to define functional genomics. "It's a broad area," says John Quackenbush, an associate investigator with The Institute...

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