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Harnessing the Microbial World: Big Info in Small Packages

Using genomcs to develop new antibiotics and vaccines could help prepare for potential bioterrorist actions Although the Human Genome Project now draws more attention, the genomes of smaller organisms collectively contain more information. The American Association for the Advancement of Science's second annual Genome Seminar, held at this year's annual meeting in January in Anaheim, Calif., focused on analyzing that information for a myriad of purposes ranging from developing malaria vaccine s

Ilene Schneider

Using genomcs to develop new antibiotics and vaccines could help prepare for potential bioterrorist actions
Although the Human Genome Project now draws more attention, the genomes of smaller organisms collectively contain more information. The American Association for the Advancement of Science's second annual Genome Seminar, held at this year's annual meeting in January in Anaheim, Calif., focused on analyzing that information for a myriad of purposes ranging from developing malaria vaccine strategies to discerning the origins of life.

Genomic data will continue rapidly accumulating as sequencing techniques and computing power keep advancing, noted J. Craig Venter, the two-day seminar's cochairman and chief scientific officer of Celera Genomics Corp., of Rockville, Md. Venter noted that since he and a team of scientists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), in Rockville, Md., finished the first genome, Haemophilus influenzae, in 1995,1 about 20 genomes have been completed, 80 more microbial...

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