After a Decade on the Sidelines, Gene Myers Back into Sequencing, Excited about Long Reads


Gene Myers , Founding Director, Systems Biology Center, Max Planck Institute Bio and Contact Info

Listen (6:10) What have you been up to since the Celera days?

Listen (4:08) Last decade more about technology than science

Listen (3:53) Wanting to do science not medicine

Listen (4:10) Not many saying it, but short reads have given crappy results

Listen (4:43) Near perfect assemblies now possible

Listen (3:19) Future of sequencing

Gene Myers is an algorithmicist best known for his time at Celera where he developed BLAST, perhaps the most widely used bioinformatics tool ever.

But then Gene got bored with sequencing projects.

“There was this focus on trying to make sequencing the human genome cheaper,” Gene says in today’s interview. "And we knew that eventually technology would win that one. You didn’t have to be much of a visionary to see that.”

Gene argues that it’s been simply a matter of “turning the crank” over the past decade since the first human genome was sequenced. Scientists have been going from organism to organism, and staring at the human genome for genotype-phenotype correlations. Yes, sequencing has gotten much cheaper, and that is important for medicine. But Gene wasn't interested in medicine. He wanted to move on to new science.

So what has Gene been up to? And why is he getting back into sequencing after a decade on the outside?

The answer has to do with long reads.

Podcast brought to you by: Pacific Biosciences - providers of long read sequencing solutions based on their Single Molecule Real Time technology.

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