Saturday, January 5, 2013
When everyone's sequencing
Lately in the lab, we've been doing some sequencing, which has got me thinking about, well, sequencing. One thing I'm wondering is how this changes the nature of the independent research group. The thing is that as the technique itself is commoditized, then where does a research group retain an edge? For instance, if you do high end microscopy, then you have an "edge" in the sense that it's probably hard for most other groups to do it. If you do sequencing, basically anyone can send their RNA to a company to sequence and get the same sort of results. I think that's actually a good thing, overall, but I guess it just means that you really need to be careful about what you decide to sequence, especially in a small lab with limited resources. Ideally something important but somehow not obvious. And then you pray that nobody else is doing the exact same thing. Because they probably are.