Accurate evaluation and analysis of functional genomics data and methods.
The development of technology capable of inexpensively performing large-scale measurements of biological systems has generated a wealth of data. Integrative analysis of these data holds the promise of uncovering gene function, regulation, and, in the longer run, understanding complex disease. However, their analysis has proved very challenging, as it is difficult to quickly and effectively assess the relevance and accuracy of these data for individual biological questions. Here, we identify biases that present challenges for the assessment of functional genomics data and methods. We then discuss evaluation methods that, taken together, begin to address these issues. We also argue that the funding of systematic data-driven experiments and of high-quality curation efforts will further improve evaluation metrics so that they more-accurately assess functional genomics data and methods. Such metrics will allow researchers in the field of functional genomics to continue to answer important biological questions in a data-driven manner. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.