Next-Generation Sequencing: The Sequencing Technique of the Future?

Complex genomic research demands a depth of information beyond established DNA sequencing techniques and technologies. Next-generation sequencing, however, may potentially fill the knowledge gap we have today. This new technology may become an everyday research tool for doctors, geneticists and researchers.

Illumina company logoIllumina, a genomics research company in healthcare and life sciences based in San Diego, CA, created their own spin onby tracking the addition of labeled nucleotides as the DNA chain is copied. Thus, it generates massive amounts of data quickly, enabling doctors using next-generation sequencing to rapidly sequence whole genomes, zoom in to deeply sequenced target regions to find certain genetic mutations, analyze DNA-protein interactions and to use RNA sequencing to discover RNA variants. Next-generation sequencing can potentially innovate genomics and can improve our modern medicine.

Previous genome sequences used Sanger sequencing, as opposed to Illumina’s synthesis technology, which is used in next-generation sequencing. The Sanger series was more expensive and much less efficient: the Human Genome Project took 10 years to create and cost nearly $3 billion using the Sanger sequence, while the next-generation sequencing reduces that cost to $1000 in 2015. This will enable higher volume testing, which may lead to easier creation of common diagnostics and can potentially lead to finding cures for genetic problems or diseases including cancer.

Next-generation sequencing embodies the innovative technologies to the analysis of genetic variation and function that were not even imaginable a few years ago. It seems likely that more and more developers will move to next-generation systems to research and find cures to diseases and more over to individualize medicine thanks to much lower costs and superior data resulting from next-generation sequencing as compared to the previous Sanger sequencing. Next-generation sequencing is proving to potentially be the standard sequencing technique in the near future.


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