Post-apres-next generation sequencing

OK, I don’t like the term “next generation sequencing”. It is a relative term, points at a changing target, and therefore inexact. What is the “this-generation sequencing”? Sanger? 454 used to be “next generation”, but now 454 sequencing went from 100bp to 600bp per read, making it qualitatively different.. so “post-next generation sequencing”? If you want to describe a sequencing technology call it what it is: title the technology by something more descriptive than a relative term that has built-in obsolescence, even the company name & machine is better. That’s what everybody use in their lab conversation & emails anyway. Illumina/SOliD is “short read”, 454 is “pyrosequencing”, Pacific Biosciences is Single Molecule Real Time, etc, etc.


Having got that out of my system, here is the latest cool thing, this time from Oxford Nanopore: an exonuclease trims off the bases one by one. Those go into a membrane pore with an adapter molecule that recognizes the nucleotide going through it:  it can even recognize methylated Cytosine, commonly referred to as “the fifth DNA base”.

James Clarke, Hai-Chen Wu, Lakmal Jayasinghe, Alpesh Patel, Stuart Reid, Hagan Bayley (2009). Continuous base identification for single-molecule nanopore DNA sequencing Nature Nanotechnology DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2009.12

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