These new sequencing technologies and the data generated as part of the projects using them are laying the foundation stones of the next era in modern biology. The data management, curation, and analysis tools using this data will continue to evolve, and so it's worth taking a slightly longer view on the future of DNA.
More than other data-intensive areas, genomics has a great history of providing open, online data repositories, from a variety of genome browsing and annotation tools (such as Enesembl and UCSC), to details of diseases linked to genes (HapMap, SNPedia) and personalized genomics services such as 23andMe and Navigenics. So much so that anyone can become a genetic hacker these days.
At present, such companies provide only a high-level overview of certain points of interest along the genome. But innovation continues unabated with the development of the next generation of sequencing instrumentation and genome analyzers. Companies such as Pacific Biometrics and Oxford Nanopore are hard at work on driving the current megabase read counts into the gigabase region and beyond. With the advent of higher throughput, and the associated drop in costs, the goal of the $5,000 and even the $1,000 genome, and the point at which therapeutic genetic sequencing becomes cost-effective, draw ever closer.
With any of these approaches, one thing is for sure: data requirements are only going to increase. The era of ...