The random community genomics white paper was written by Rob in the spring of 2006 while traveling around Europe for meetings. You’ll notice that some of the problems have been solved, but many have been ignored!
Random community genomics, sequencing whole DNA without growing the microbes or cloning their DNA is now a reality. Our group, alone, has sequenced in excess of 850 M bp of DNA from environmental samples. Sample preparation and sequencing is very cheap and easy, costing less than $500 per million bp. The major limitation towards the advancement of our understanding of environmental genomics is no longer our ability to see the DNA. It is the lack of access to high-performance computing. Once the technologies and techniques that are being used be selected labs today become commonplace, there will be overwhelming demand for computational power beyond anything that is readily available.
You can download the white paper (0.2 MB).