In recent years there have been tremendous advances in our ability to rapidly and cost-effectively
sequence DNA. This has revolutionized the fields of genetics and biology, leading to a deeper understanding
of the molecular events in life processes. The rapid technological advances have enormously
expanded sequencing opportunities and applications, but also imposed strains and challenges
on steps prior to sequencing and in the downstream process of handling and analysis of
these massive amounts of sequence data. Traditionally, sequencing has been limited to small DNA
fragments of approximately one thousand bases (derived from the organism’s genome) due to issues
in maintaining a high sequence quality and accuracy for longer read lengths. Although many
technological breakthroughs have been made, currently the commercially available massively parallel
sequencing methods have not been able to resolve this issue. However, recent announcements
in nanopore sequencing hold the promise of removing this read-length limitation, enabling
sequencing of larger intact DNA fragments. The ability to sequence longer intact DNA with high
accuracy is a major stepping stone towards greatly simplifying the downstream analysis and increasing
the power of sequencing compared to today. This review covers some of the technical
advances in sequencing that have opened up new frontiers in genomics.


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