DNA Sequencing

DNA sequencing
Flash animation
Age level:
17-18 years +
Topic area:
Sanger sequencing method, DNA, sequencing, biotechnology, genome sequencing, HGP, gene technology

This is a Flash animation that offers a detailed overview of the processes involved in the dideoxy or Sanger sequencing method: the sequencing method used to sequence DNA in the Human Genome Project.

This animation can be used when discussing the Human Genome Project and the outcomes of this international collaboration. It demonstrates the principles and techniques involved in the Sanger sequencing method, and how the technology is involved in high throughput centres such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Running the animation:

You can run the animation in two different ways:
  1. Browser: Launch the animation from this page by clicking the icon below.
  2. Standalone: This animation may be downloaded and run without internet access - see Support materials.
Technical information:
  1. Adobe Flash player plugin is required to run this animation from the browser.
  2. There is no audio with this animation.

Support materials:

Human Genome Project student information sheet

Student information on the Human Genome Project

DNA to Data Worksheet
This is a paper-based activity where students have to arrange stages of the DNA sequencing process in the correct order.



Download standalone versions of the animation
These downloads are designed to be run without an internet connection.

Windows version

Mac version

Related items:

People profile: Fred Sanger
Nobel Laureate Fred Sanger developed the "dideoxy" chain-termination method (Sanger sequencing) for determining the sequence of nucleotide bases in DNA. This method was used in the Human Genome Project and forms the basis of today’s DNA sequencing technologies. This link provides information about Fred Sanger’s life and career.

People profile: Fred Sanger

People profile: John Sulston
This is a profile of the Nobel Laureate Sir John Sulston who was the founding director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

People profile: John Sulston

Sequencing at speed
This Flash animation provides a detailed overview of the processes involved in next generation sequencing, the main sequencing method used at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Sequencing at speed

DNA libraries: Making a BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) library
This Flash animation provides an overview of the techniques involved in generating a BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) library.

DNA libraries: Making a BAC library

DNA libraries: Subcloning
This Flash animation provides an overview of the process of subcloning, one of the stages involved in the Human Genome Project.

DNA libraries: Subcloning

Curriculum links:

This activity supports the following modules on the UK curriculum.

Click on the arrows below for further detail of the module.

Web links:

Additional sources of information on the web for teachers and students to increase their knowledge base on DNA, gene s and genomes.

yourgenome.org – FAQs about the Human Genome Project

This web page contains the answers to frequently asked questions about the Human Genome Project.

yourgenome.org – The Human Genome Project

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute’s yourgenome.org website provides a whole section on the Human Genome Project offering an overview of the history of the project and the different stages involved in sequencing the human genome.

yourgenome.org – Sequencing centre

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's Yourgenome.org website has a dedicated section on the sequencing process. It provides information on the major stages of the process including creating DNA libraries. This offers an insight into the processes that take place in one of the world's largest high throughput sequencing centres.

US Department of Energy - Human Genome Project information

This website is created by the US department of Energy who are one of the founders of the Human Genome Project. The site has a dedicated section to the Human Genome Project that covers the history of the project as well as some of the issues that have arisen as a result of the project around the ethics and medical applications of DNA and genome sequencing.

DNA Interactive - Sanger sequencing animation

DNA Interactive is a content-rich website created by the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA. The website covers topics including the history, techniques, ethics and applications of genetics. This specific link offers a narrated 3D animation about Sanger sequencing:

Sociedad Mexicana de Ciencias Genomicas - Sanger method animation

This narrated Flash animation gives an overview of the chemistry of the Sanger sequencing reaction.

Wellcome Trust Human Genome website

This website provides information on the Human Genome Project and its implications for health and society. It offers a range of features and news articles on some of the latest genome research.