Five successive annual conferences on THE BIOLOGY OF GENOMES (scheduled for each May of 2013-2017) 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 1) high throughput genomics &genetics;2) genetics of complex traits 3) functional genomics;4) computational genomics;5) evolutionary genomics;6) population genomic variation;7) disease genomics;and 8) genetics and genomics of non-human species;and 9) 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. A special panel will be devoted to the ethical legal and social implications of genome research. 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 25 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 annual attendance of 450-500 investigators.
Every species of animal or plant has a distinct set of genes encoded in DNA packaged into discrete chromosomes. The full complement of these genes constitutes the organism's genome. Furthermore the genome of each individual within a species varies slightly, thus providing the genetic basis of the many differences we see between individuals. The technology of DNA sequencing has allowed scientists to construct the shared genome sequence of humans and many species of plant and animal, providing powerful evidence for the evolutionary connections between species. Effort is now going into decoding the genetic differences between individuals within a species, particularly for individual humans and their susceptibility to disease. Many of these advances rely upon interactions between a diverse set of experts, ranging from engineers developing ever faster sequencing technologies, bioinformatics experts who handle the very large datasets generated by these machines, biologists who interpret the results in the context of known biology to shed new light on fundamental mechanisms, and medical experts who seek to apply this information to improved medical treatment and the development of novel therapeutic strategies. This annual conference is one of the major points of exchange for many scientists, editors and associated genome experts to share their latest findings, and provides rapid peer-to-peer communication and networking that is essential to drive the field forward. This Cold Spring Harbor meeting traditionally attracts a very wide and diverse international community.