Everyone's heard of DNA sequencing.

Basically, when biologists talk about this, they mean "determining the order of bases" (that is, the As, Cs, Gs, and Ts in any given DNA sequence) for a given gene or even an entire genome.

Historically, this has been undertaken using a number of chemical techniques. For those of you with a biology background, you may be familiar with Maxam-Gilbert sequencing and Sanger sequencing. Although Maxam-Gilbert had a number of initial adherents for a variety of technical reasons, chain-termination methods (such as Sanger) have predominated since the 1980s and are still used widely today.

The desire to increase the output potential of sequencing methods led to the development of a number of high-throughput methods that used a host of different technologies. These high-throughput sequencing methods are commonly referred to as "next generation sequencing" or NGS.

If you've ever wondered how Illumina or 454 or other NGS methods work, this video of Dr. Elaine Mardis is well worth the look:

Video of Elaine Mardis of The Genome Institute

Hat-tip to Jonathan Eisen for the link.


K.S. MacLea, Ph.D.

Here's another advance in the area of NGS. Amazing stuff!

Oxford Nanopore GridION


Comment by kmaclea [myopenid.com] Sat Apr 7 06:11:31 2012

How strand sequencing works:



Comment by kmaclea [myopenid.com] Sat Apr 7 06:14:01 2012