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'Next-generation' sequencing becomes 'now-generation'

DOI: 10.1186/gb-2011-12-3-303

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In the last Genome Biology report on this annual conference, Manolis Kellis noted in 2004 that sequencing had reached a mature state, in which the research community 'took for granted that we can sequence, assemble, and align complete genomes' (Genome Biol 2004, 5:324). The technological innovations of the next few years, which shifted sequencing from the Sanger-style long reads used to complete the first human genome to short 'next-generation' reads, required a second wave of innovation to prepare samples for sequencing and deal with the new format of the resulting data. Finally, as attendees of the Advances in Genome Biology & Technology conference learned in February, the field can once again begin to take for granted our ability to effectively produce and process the copious sequencing data that contemporary sequencing technologies more affordably provide. The maturation of these technologies creates interesting new analytical applications for sequencing.Many presenters highlighted innovative approaches to simplify sequencing library preparation, expand the range of samples eligible for sequencing, or limit sequencing to specific genomic regions. In describing the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre's sequencing pipeline, Harold Swerdlow (Sanger Centre, Hinxton, UK) detailed the degree to which amplification-free Illumina library construction reduces the effect of GC composition on sequencing coverage. Andi Gnirke (Broad Institute, Cambridge, USA) described approaches by which base composition coverage bias can be minimized during the amplification phase of Illumina library construction, for instances where circumstances do not permit amplification-free libraries.Hybrid selection has become a widely adopted means by which to selectively sequence just the exonic portion of the human genome, or other specific regions of interest. By designing oligonucleotides complementary to targeted regions and then hybridizing those oligonucleotides with genomic DNA on a chip or in so


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