The Scientist 13[15]:19, Jul. 19, 1999


Trickle-Down Genomics: Reforming "Small Science" As We Know It

By Edward J. Smith

Each generation attempts to develop programs and activities that help it fulfill the ancient Chinese wish "May you live in interesting times." These are indeed interesting times from the perspective of the biologist: The complete genomes of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans and of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have recently been sequenced,1 and the human genome is expected to be completely sequenced by the year 2003. Underlying these exhilarating developments are advances in technology that have emerged from the core discipline of genomics.2 As this millennium draws to a close, genome technology is changing the pace at which biological questions are being answered. Although access to this technology is greatly facilitated by the Internet, research-level access for many scientists working in biology remains limited.

Private interests are now actively...

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