The proposed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course on Advanced Sequencing Technologies &Applications is to be held November 8-21, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Over the last decade, large scale DNA sequencing has markedly impacted the practice of modern biology and is beginning to affect the practice of medicine. With the recent introduction of several advanced sequencing technologies, costs and timelines have been reduced by orders of magnitude, facilitating investigators to conceptualize and perform sequencing-based projects that heretofore were prohibitive. Furthermore, the application of these technologies to answer questions previously not experimentally approachable is broadening their impact and application. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is proposing to continue offering an advanced two-week course entitled Advanced Sequencing Technologies &Applications, to be offered annually each fall in newly constructed and purpose-built teaching facilities at the Laboratory. Applications are anticipated from a diversity of scientific backgrounds including molecular evolution, development, neuroscience, cancer, plant biology and microbiology. Students will be instructed in the detailed operation of several revolutionary sequencing platforms, including sample preparation procedures, general data handling through pipelines, and in-depth data analysis. A diverse range of biological questions will be explored including DNA re-sequencing of human genomic regions, de novo DNA sequencing of bacterial genomes, and the use of these technologies in studying small RNAs, among others. Guest lecturers contribute to the course and are encouraged to highlight their own applications of these revolutionary technologies. This Cold Spring Harbor annual short course offers specialized training in a residential setting that immediately impacts the progress of the trainees'research. The course also promotes collaboration and exchange of ideas between faculty and trainees, and thus represents a significant and valuable investment towards accelerating genome research by educating select cadres of researchers in the latest methods and concepts in these disciplines. The course has a proven track record of training investigators who go on to successful careers in science.
Most cells in our bodies encode the complete blueprint of the organism in long fragments of DNA that collectively make up our genome. The ability to sequence and analyze the long and deceptively simple stretches of linear base pairs (the As, Gs, Cs and Ts that make up our DNA) has accelerated rapidly in recent years, with the introduction of new technologies, approaches and applications. The cost of sequencing entire genomes has dropped precipitously, so that scientists are now able to sequence tens, hundreds or even thousands of individual members of a species, thus beginning to understand how organisms within a species vary genetically, and how this variation lies at the heart of individual susceptibility to the environment, diseases etc.