Genome Research Limited

Next-generation sequencing

Next-generation sequencing brought with it a fundamentally different approach to DNA sequencing, cutting the time and cost needed to sequence a genome. 

2000s

  • Cost to sequence 1 million bases: 34p
  • Time to sequence 1 human genome: 10 days

Next-generation sequencing brought with it a fundamentally different approach to DNA sequencing.

The introduction of next-generation sequencing in 2007 created a bit of a buzz in the world of genomics as it brought with it a fundamentally different approach to DNA sequencing.

The principles are in some ways similar to capillary sequencing where the bases of a small section of DNA are identified and recorded. However, rather than being limited to just a few DNA fragments, next-generation sequencing extends this process so that millions of samples can be sequenced, all at the same time. For this reason it is sometimes called massively parallel sequencing.

As a result, large amounts of DNA can be sequenced at rapid speed. With some next-generation sequencing machines researchers can sequence more than five human genomes per machine in just under a week.

Today, next-generation sequencing can sequence a single human genome for just under $5,000, in just one day.

To put this in perspective, the Human Genome Project, which sequenced the first human genome using capillary sequencing, took around 10 years and cost almost $3 billion. Today, next-generation sequencing can sequence a single human genome for just under $5,000, in one day.

Next-generation sequencing can be tailored to suit any size of genome.

Next-generation sequencing is also highly flexible and can be tailored to suit any size of genome. From small genomes, like that of viruses, to much larger genomes, like that of a human. Also, preparing samples for next-generation sequencing is much quicker than for capillary sequencing, as scientists no longer have to grow libraries of DNA up in bacteria. This means researchers are able to process DNA for sequencing in a much shorter period of time.

With the latest technologies, we can study genomes to help uncover the genetic causes of cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia and other diseases.

Next-generation sequencing gives scientists the ability to compare the genomes of many different individuals. With the latest technologies, we can study the genomes from all sorts of people to provide us with the data needed to compare them and uncover the genetic causes of cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia and other diseases. We can also explore the genomes of things that cause human disease such as viruses, bacteria and other pathogens

This page was last updated on 2016-06-14