The JMP booth at the Plant and Animal Genomes (PAG) meeting was a constant blur of activity this week in San Diego. Over three days, we talked with more than 100 researchers, all working to improve our knowledge of many different kinds of plants and animals. We talked with scientists working to understand the genetic code of chickens, quinoa, wheat, oats, wild rice, peach trees, rainbow trout, maize (corn) and other species. So many folks came to visit us that we ran out of literature to distribute.
This is a very exciting time for genomic research. Technological innovations in genomic science have been rapidly developing, and as a result many researchers are drowning in data. They seem desperate for software tools to help them make sense of this deluge. This is especially true for researchers working in non-human organisms, many of which do not yet have a complete genomic map. JMP Genomics is relatively new to this space – previously, our tools were mainly used in human research.
But thanks to a collaboration with JMP champion Eric Jackson formerly of USDA-ARS, and to the efforts of our JMP Genomics development team, we have made rapid progress with our tools for plant and animal researchers in this past year. In particular, our new linkage mapping capabilities and Q-K association mapping tools are generating very strong interest. Existing software tools from competitors lack the analytic depth and breadth of JMP Genomics, and they are also not as user-friendly or flexible. During the our conversations with scientists at the PAG meeting, we received feedback giving us many new ideas for ways to improve the tools for future software releases.
We also hosted a two-hour workshop, describing some of the new features. Despite being scheduled during the dinner hour after a long day of scientific talks, over 50 attendees spent their evening learning about new features in JMP Genomics 5.1 and our plans for JMP Genomics 6.0.
We will return to the PAG meeting next year, with more literature, more staff and some new software features to share with this vibrant community of dedicated scientists.