Latest advances in DNA sequencing technology

In many scientific fields, modern research relies heavily on the use of DNA analysis to explore hypotheses at a genetic and genomic level. With such a strong dependence on these technologies, it is no wonder that the field of genetic analysis is rapidly advancing and producing increasingly effective and efficient technologies and methods.

Following the enormous success of the Human Genome Project using Sanger sequencing technology, there has been a rapid evolution of Second Generation Sequencing (SGS) techniques. These methods are able to provide a much higher throughput, and therefore a lower cost per sequenced base. In a review published in Investigative Genetics today, Syvänen et al provide  a detailed discussion of the key technical aspects of SGS techniques and consequences of their development. The impacts of these techniques have been dramatic across a number of fields; the authors highlight in particular advances in human population genetics, human genetic history and forensic genetics.

Next generation sequencing technologies and applications for human Genetic History and Forensics
Eva C Berglund, Anna Kiialainen, Ann-Christine Syvanen Investigative Genetics 2011, 2:23 (24 November 2011)
Abstract | Provisional PDF

Syvänen et al identify the current trends and technological advancements, including lower capacity sequencing systems which will further lower costs, and the recent appearance of third generation sequencing (single molecule) where no amplification is required. It is clear that the future of DNA sequencing will continue to provide us with exciting advances and novel discoveries across a wide range of scientific fields which is set to continue to expand.

Investigative Genetics publishes articles on the development and application of molecular genetics in a wide range of science disciplines with societal relevance. These include forensic issues and legal medicine, evolutionary, anthropological and historical studies, as well as epidemiology and biosafety. Research, reviews, or methodologies can be submitted via the online submission system and will benefit from a rapid peer review process and fast publication.

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