Five successive annual conferences on THE BIOLOGY OF GENOMES (scheduled for each May of 2008-2012) will be held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and will draw together the major practitioners in the field of genome research. In the tradition of Cold Spring Harbor meetings, new discoveries in the field will be emphasized. Major areas for discussion and presentations will include developments and progress in computational genomics, genome analysis in model organisms, human genetic diseases, and other topics highly relevant to the ongoing efforts in the genomics field. Each meeting will include seven platform sessions (typically with eight speakers each), three poster sessions, and a keynote speaker session. Each session will be co-chaired by two leading investigators in the field who together with the organizers will establish the format of each session based on the submitted abstracts. Particular attention will be paid to encourage active participation by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and new investigators as well as the attendance by leading scientists in the field. Efforts are made to encourage attendance by women and individuals from communities under-represented in the biological sciences. As with the previous 20 conferences, it is anticipated that the proposed meetings will provide unique opportunities for the exchange of data, ideas, and experiences in the various sub-disciplines of genome research. The meetings will be international in nature, with an anticipated yearly attendance of 400-450 investigators. An associated oral history project will record and publish reflections from leading genome scientists who attend the meeting(s).
In living cells, the ?genome? refers to the complete set of instructions carried by the cell?s chromosomes and encoded in the hereditary material (DNA). While the term genome primarily refers to the complete sequence of DNA of an organism, the biology of the genome refers to may processes that include when and where particular sets of genetic instructions are read off or transcribed during the development of an organism, and how the genome is copied and repaired during cell division or in passage from parent to offspring. As more and more DNA sequence becomes available, evolutionary approaches to the study of genomes have enabled scientists to tease out areas of similarity and difference between species, and to extrapolate backwards in time to common ancestors. Finally, natural differences or variation in the genome of individual humans provide information about how susceptible we are to disease, or whether a drug will be effective or cause side effects in an individual. This well-established annual conference on the biology of genomes is notable because the majority of talks are selected from openly submitted abstracts giving ample opportunity for broad and diverse representation of junior scientists including graduate students to present their latest research.