Overview

In this chapter, we take the risky road of futurology with respect to functional genomics. We will make it even riskier by taking a short-term view, so that we will soon know just how far off the mark we were. The reason that we are at all engaging in this exercise is that the technological, biological, and analytic aspects of functional genomics investigations are changing every year. This leads to the, possibly vain, conceit that anticipation of future trends will allow a laboratory to invest in the most high-yielding technologies and personnel. We find ourselves asking the same questions many of our collaborators have asked us in this regard:

• What technology should we invest in for gene profiling measurement?

• What software platforms should we license, install, and become proficient in using?

• Even if we consistently use the same platform, will we be able to compare results of expression profiling experiments across different generations of the same microarray technologies?

• What are the most important issues we should plan for in the next 10 years to best leverage our efforts in functional genomics?

We attempt here to begin to answer these questions using the data on hand, our intuition, and our experience with past technological revolutions. Caveat lector, prognostication is all too cheap.

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