It’s definitely recommendation-letter-writing season here at the IGI (multiple postdocs applying for fellowships, graduate rotation students going for the NSF, a friend is applying for academic jobs, and two people who reported to me while I was in biotech are up for promotions). Pairing that with several new students and some other exciting developments (more on that later) has led me to unfortunate delays between blog posts.
Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with Hopi Hoekstra, who was visiting Berkeley to speak for this year’s Allan Wilson Memorial lecture. Her talk was fabulous, and during our one-on-one she made the great point that the Cas9 literature is moving so fast that it’s hard for people in various model organisms to keep track of what’s going on. What works best in mice? How about in flies? Nematodes? Planaria? Wheat? The list goes on and on. It’s sometimes hard for me to keep up, and this is my field! Imagine what it’s like for someone in (for example) EvoDevo who doesn’t care about the tech and just wants to know what will work to answer their question.
It’s clearly too much for any one person to collate while still doing their day job. But Hopi had the great idea to start some kind of community-led effort. People working with each model organism would contribute to resources (or forums?) that would provide primers for labs wanting to get started (or do a better job) in their area of interest. And a general resource to touch on the latest-and-greatest that could help everyone. This would be some kind of organized but open format, where anyone could contribute but information was relatively easy to find. Great idea, right? But how to actually get it started… A wiki? A Google Group?