Well after a long hiatus from blogging I thought would start again with announcing my recently accepted paper, "Evaluation of genomic island predictors using a comparative genomics approach" in BMC Bioinformatics.
This research provides a comparison of several previously published tools that are used to predict genomic islands (large regions of HGT in bacteria).These tools use various methods of identifying abnormal sequence composition, such as GC percent, to predict regions of HGT. The predicitons made by these tools were compared to reference datasets of genomic islands (GIs) and non-GIs (very conserved regions) that were constructed using whole genome alignments. One of the novel and cool (well I like to think so) things about this comparative genomics method, called IslandPick, is that it automatically selects appropriate genomes for comparison given a query genome. Normally in most compartive genomics studies the user/scientist has to pick which genomes are relavant and should be used in the comparison. This works well until you have to do it for ~1000 different genomes. If you want more information on how this works read the paper!
This was my first experience with a very tough and stubborn reviewer. This would have been published almost 6 months ago if it wasn't for one reviewer that kept insisting that our method was flawed even after we clearly defended and addressed their concerns. After much correspondence and waiting, a fresh group of reviewers accepted the research after some minor revisions. *Sigh* Makes me wonder how much of publishing is just a crapshoot?