"Because of the developments and capabilities afforded to us today to unravel the mysteries of life, this has to be the most exciting time to be a biological scientist. The 21st century is truly the century of biology”. So says Bruce Budowle, who began a distinguished career in forensic genetics at the FBI laboratory at Quantico and is now Executive Director of the Institute of Investigative Genetics at the University of North Texas.
Bruce, together with Antti Sajantila (University of Helsinki) and Manfred Kayser (Erasmus University), is co-Editor-in-Chief of Investigative Genetics, a new journal with a focus on how molecular genetics can answer questions in a wide range of science disciplines with societal relevance such as forensics, biosafety and evolutionary, anthropological and historical studies. In Tales the double helix tells, the first of his regular series of columns, Mark Jobling shares his thoughts on how DNA-based research is rapidly evolving under the influence of technological advances, commercialisation, the internet, politics and wishful thinking.
Other articles published at launch include: the use of next-generation massively parallel (MPS) sequencing to detect strain-specific polymorphisms in Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores – the speed and accuracy of this technology makes it a powerful tool for investigating biocrimes or infectious disease outbreaks; an opinion piece on whether the NIH policy on sharing GWAS data may prove to be counterproductive and the development of single base extension assays to resolve Y chromosome haplotypes in sub-Saharan African populations.