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Genomic Science Program

Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment

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Genomic Science Program

Genomes to Life Contractor-Grantee Workshop I
Arlington, Virginia, February 9-12, 2003

Workshop Breakout Session

Experimental Technology Development and Integration


  • George Church, Harvard Medical School
  • Ham Smith, Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives

As we attempt to understand, protect, and/or engineer environmental microbial communities, we need to ask what sorts of data would most benefit our models and how to obtain these cost-effectively. For this session let us answer what small (or large) technological step are we taking toward these specific challenges: (1) microscopic methods capable of tracing the chain of a small genome, (2) quantitation of “all” peptide states (either in single cells or populations), (3) Sequencing at Mbp per $, and (4) automated designed genome engineering.

The framework for the discussions will be the following questions:

  • What are the most useful technologies for our tasks/goals now and for the future? What are the major technological gaps that will need to be addressed to reach the GTL goals? To what extent will the technologies be developed by others?
  • How can technologies best be used to complement each other and strengthen the resulting research/insights? How do we promote the kind of synergistic interactions among the practitioners?

Presentations on major technologies will be made during the breakout by Joachim Frank (Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health) on cryo Electron Microscopy, Bob Hettich or Greg Hurst (ORNL) and Dick Smith (PNNL) on mass spectrometry, Hoi-Ying Holman (Berkeley Lab) on FTIR imaging, Steve Colson (PNNL) on optical imaging, and possibly one or two other scientists.

We would like to invite you to bring one viewgraph to share with the participants on your views about technologies needed to meet these challenges.

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