Why write a blog?
As my book went off to press, sequencing was in the news as it is being applied to the coronavirus outbreak. New and exciting events like this are not captured in the book, but can be included in a blog.
Yes, viruses like the coronavirus are outside of the scope of my book – viruses are not bacteria, however the application of sequencing technology to epidemiology and outbreaks is absolutely covered in the book and students who read the book will be able to apply what they know from the bacterial examples to this viral disease. In the same way, students wanting to go on to study higher organisms will find that the grounding they get from the concepts in Bacterial Genetics and Genomics will have wider applications in humans, animals, plants, etc. Much of what we know now in genetics and genomics in general started in bacteria and interesting discoveries made in bacteria (like CRISPR) keep getting applied elsewhere.
Bacterial genetics and genomics is a rapidly advancing field. I have written the book to be as flexibly future proof as possible, by including some examples of recent advances, but also encouraging you as the reader to explore more. In this blog, I can continue to keep the discussion current and help guide you in finding some interesting topics for discussion in class, with friends, or on-line.