On 12 October, Nature Research Centre invited to a scientific seminar and discussion “Omics technologies – tools, progress and perspectives in nature research (organiser – Prof. Dr Elena Servienė). During the seminar, Dr E. Servienė introduced possible omics technologies (metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) and focused on the importance of the laboratory-experimental part in preparing high-quality samples for sequencing and the importance of the part of bioinformatics in conducting a comprehensive analysis.
Dr Gediminas Alzbutas delivered a presentation “Possibilities of application of nanopore technology in microbiome and metagenome analysis”, discussed the advantages of this technology in comparison with other new generation sequencing platforms, and answered questions on the role of bioinformatics in omics-related research.
Most of seminar participants expressed opinion that the assistance of bioinformaticians is really necessary in developing at laboratories the omics-based research. The importance of metodological, technological and programming tools was highlighted. Discussions were held on a need to establish a bioinformatics competence unit at NRC. Opinions of seminar participants were different: some promoted an idea of setting a small supporting unit at NRC and inviting bioinformatics specialists (2–3 persons), others did not see a need to establish such a structural unit, and a third group accentuated a possibility to develop omics technologies by strengthening project-related collaboration between laboratories. A request was formulated to organise special NRC seminars and introduce different high-efficiency technologies (the other seminar was offered to be organised by Dr Dalius Butkauskas). Another request was to arrange bioinformatics training courses, in particular for doctoral students.
A proposal was made to arrange a questionnaire for all interested laboratories to express their opinion on the need of bioinformatics specialists, either as a separate unit of NRC or as specialists employed by laboratories themselves, etc.