Wednesday, 7 March 2012

If Italy cries, Japan doesn't laugh...

Although Japan is amongst the five leading countries in biomedical research, its DNA sequencing capacity is surprisingly low (there are more next generation sequencing machines in the Australia or in Spain). Art Wuster, a postdoctoral fellow at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, in his Seqonomics blog provides an interesting overview the state of DNA sequencing in the land of the Rising Sun.
Interestingly, a different post on the same blog (Who are the sequencing superpowers?) analyzes the sequencing capacity of several countries compared to their R&D expenditure (see the graph above). Also in this case emerges the low number of sequencers in Japan (34), compared to the vast research expenditure ($144bn) of that nation.
By the way, Italy is not close to the bottom of the list just because our research and development expenditure is much lower (about 1.2% of GDP vs more than 3% of Japan)

P.S: The original saying goes "If Athens cries Sparta doesn't laugh" and is not related to the current Greek economic crisis but to the Peloponnesian War (431–404 bc).

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