Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
Human Genome News, January-March 1996; 7(5)
The Third International Conference on Automation in Mapping and Sequencing, held November 3-5, 1995, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), focused on instrumentation and automation issues associated with large-scale genomic research. Although driven by specific needs of genome projects worldwide, these technologies also have broad implications for biotechnology in general because of the large scale of genomic operations for which they are designed.
The capacity audience of 230 represented an international community of specialists from major mapping and sequencing centers, university and government laboratories, and the private sector. In addition to the 78 presentations, 20 manufacturers exhibited leading-edge technology. DOE and NIH managers gave overviews of various genome programs and their expectations for continued automation and instrumentation development.
Researchers reported significant progress in both conventional and new technologies. Several talks described gains in sequencing speed and throughput using capillary electrophoresis and new methods based on revolutionary chip-microfabrication technologies. Representatives from genome research centers described efforts to increase productivity through large-scale system integration; data handling in large-scale applications and expert-system analysis were also addressed.
Although the conference program was tightly scheduled for the 3-day event, social occasions provided time for individual interactions at the welcoming reception, exhibitors' display reception, and conference banquet. The Engineering R&D area displayed technology development and fabrication efforts at LBNL, and human genome laboratory tours showed a wide range of custom-built and custom-adapted equipment in actual use.
Copies of the scientific program and abstracts are available via the Internet (http://www.lbl.gov/Conferences/AMS/). The next meeting is scheduled for March 1997 at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.
[Joseph Jaklevic, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, firstname.lastname@example.org]
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