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Creating a Roadmap for Building a Sustainable Genomics Facility in the Philippines

Alexander T. Young*

Philippine Genome Center
University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City 1101 Philippines

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


ABSTRACT

Genomics, bioinformatics, and high-throughput technologies provide a means to create breakthrough solutions for a remarkably wide diversity of fields – including medicine, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and biodiversity. Significantly, the precision of genomics and DNA enable the creation of applications that are specifically optimized for the Philippines. Dissemination of these technologies throughout the country is accelerated by genomics facilities that provide access to core technologies. However, there are significant scientific and business challenges for creating a sustainable genomics facility in the Philippines. The historical successes and challenges of genomics and high-throughput technologies are reviewed, which point to potential solutions for creating a sustainable genomics facility in the Philippines.

 

INTRODUCTION

New and exciting advances in genomics and high-throughput technologies are revolutionizing the application of biological sciences. Advances in engineering, microfluidics, robotics, and miniaturization have created machines that can rapidly determine the DNA sequence of an organism’s genes or the entire genome. Similar advances in miniaturization have created machines that can rapidly test the activity of thousands of biological samples (high-throughput assays). High-throughput assays can be used to screen libraries of thousands of chemical compounds for the identification of new drug molecules that combat disease (high-throughput screening). Technologies that simultaneously profile thousands of RNA transcripts to measure gene activity (transcriptomics), proteins (proteomics), metabolites (metabolomics), and microorganisms (microbial community profiling/metagenomics) in response to disease, drugs, or the environment promise to unravel the complexities of biological systems in order to find new applications that benefit society. In conjunction with the technological advances in biology and engineering, advances in computational sciences have enabled the daunting task of interpreting the massive amounts of data that these technologies generate (bioinformatics). The ability to profile thousands to millions of biological molecules in a massively parallel fashion promises to create new biological insights that can lead to better medicines, agriculture, fisheries, forensics, and molecular diagnostics. All of these new technologies are available or being developed at the Philippine Genome Center (PGC). . . . read more

 

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