8 June 2009
The Future of DNA sequencing at the National Human Genome Research Institute report outlines a number of general as well as some more specific recommendations which were developed through the course of the workshop. The general recommendations recognised the NHGRI’s unique position within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and stated that it should maintain a sequencing program that involved large-scale sequencing centres but should also provide opportunities for smaller, more specialized groups to engage in next-generation sequencing projects. In addition, it was also recommended that the NHGRI should address the technical problem of how to finish genomes using new technologies.
Specific recommendations were made in relation to three main topics:
These included recommendations calling on the NHGRI to encourage the creation of sample repositories to ensure the continuous availability of high quality samples and encouraging community education about genome sequencing projects. Recommendation were made in each area of genome sequencing, such as characterisation of sequence variation underlying most common disease with relation to human genetics and implementing deep transcriptome sequencing in the area of functional genomics. With relation to downstream issues, recommendations were made relating to data security and privacy, software and hardware infrastructure and biology using computation.
Although no programmatic decisions have been made on the basis of these recommendations, the NHGRI will incorporate the findings of this workshop in its decisions. The report states that although the purpose of this workshop was to provide guidance for the NHGRI, as it also collaborates with a number of other international entities such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger institute in the UK, the benefits of large-scale sequencing mentioned in the report will also be shared with international colleagues.