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A Genome Galaxy Not So Far Away

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blog readers know that we are committed to supporting open-access research, from working with the informatics developer community to develop improved tools to releasing SMRT Sequencing data so scientists can mine it themselves. We’re proud to launch a new program that takes this commitment to the next level: the Genome Galaxy Initiative.

This initiative stems from twin trends in the scientific community: rapidly increasing demand for SMRT Sequencing, even for very small projects, and increasing awareness that alternative funding sources are important to keep pushing genomics forward. We’ve partnered with scientific crowdfunding platform Experiment to connect researchers directly with the public to help get their SMRT Sequencing projects funded.

Experiment launched in 2012 with a mission to fill gaps in the funding pipeline by helping scientists raise money for small projects that don’t fit typical NIH categories or that could produce the early-stage data needed for traditional grant applications. Scientists are able to directly engage the public through Experiment to generate support for their research, and communicate often with updates on project status and findings to interested backers.

The Genome Galaxy Initiative, based on the Experiment platform, supports expedited, open-access genomic projects. It’s a central location for SMRT Sequencing-based projects seeking crowdfunding, and fosters a community of scientists and patrons interested in asking research questions that can only be answered with long-read sequencing. As high-quality genome assemblies from the PacBio RS II and the Sequel System have become even more affordable and accessible, partnering with Experiment is a great fit. Through this program, even more scientists will have access to the most comprehensive view of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes from SMRT Sequencing.

In celebration of the program, we are incorporating the Genome Galaxy Initiative into this year’s first SMRT Grant program. Once all entries have been submitted (the deadline is January 31), a scientific review committee will select the top five finalists for our “Explore Your Most Interesting Genome” grant program. Those finalists will post their projects on Experiment and campaign for public support, and the community will vote for the SMRT Grant winner. The four runners-up will have an immediate second opportunity to “win” by crowdsourcing funds to kick off their projects on Experiment.

We’ll keep you posted on the program, and let you know as new SMRT Sequencing projects get their chance to star in the Genome Galaxy Initiative via Experiment.

Follow @genomegalaxy to be a part of this initiative.

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