Committee on Frontiers in Polar Biology, National Research Council
As we enter the twenty-first century, the polar biological sciences stand well poised to address numerous important issues, many of which were unrecognized as little as 10 years ago. From the effects of global warming on polar organisms to the potential for life in subglacial Lake Vostok, the opportunities to advance our understanding of polar ecosystems are unprecedented. The era of genome-enabled biology is upon us, and new technologies will allow us to examine polar biological questions of unprecedented scope and to do so with extraordinary depth and precision.
Frontiers in Polar Biology in the Genomic Revolution highlights research areas in polar biology that can benefit from genomic technologies and assesses the impediments to the conduct of polar genomic research. It also emphasizes the importance of ancillary technologies to the successful application of genomic technologies to polar studies. It recommends the development of a new initiative in polar genome sciences that emphasizes collaborative multidisciplinary research to facilitate genome analyses of polar organisms and coordinate research efforts.