What is Next Generation Sequencing?

Next Generation Sequencing has revolutionized the biological science. In this article we will discuss on  Next Generation Sequencing and its effectiveness and applications.Let’s learn.

What is Next Generation Sequencing

Before we jump into the article, let’s discuss on few things.

What is DNA Sequencing
  • DNA sequencing is a laboratory technique which is used to determine the exact sequence of bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T) in a DNA molecule.
  • Scientists use DNA sequencing to analyse the genetic variations or mutations that may play a key role in the development or progression of a disease.

Go Back to Basics

What is Nucleotides?

A nucleotide is the basic structural unit of DNA. Nucleotides are attached together to form a chain of DNA.A nucleotide contains 3 parts:

  • Sugar
  • Phosphate group
  • Nitrogenous base

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The sugar and phosphate,together are the backbone of the DNA double helix structure, while the bases are located in the middle. A chemical bond between the phosphate group of one nucleotide and the sugar of a neighboring nucleotide are hydrogen bonds that holds the two strands of the double helix together.

What is Genome?

The complete DNA instruction package of a human body is called genome.

A gene is defined as the functional unit of DNA that carries the instructions for making a specific set of proteins. Each of the 20000 genes in a human body carry information and the complete set of DNA information is known as genome.

Do You Know?
A human body contains about 3 billion bases and 20,000 genes on 23 pairs of chromosomes.
What is Next Generation Sequencing?
  • Next Generation Sequencing is the parallel DNA sequencing technology with its ultra-high throughput, reliability and speed. The Next Generation Sequencing enables scientists to perform accelerated analysis and study on biological science.
  • Next Generation Sequencing makes the study of sequencing of DNA and RNA faster and cheaper than the previously used Sanger sequencing and revolutionized the study of genomics and molecular biology.

Do You Know?
The first commercialized method of DNA sequencing is Sanger sequencing method. The automatic sequencing machine using Sanger method,the AB370 was introduced in 1987.
Applications of Next Generation Sequencing
  • The NGS machines can detect the existence of the virus in a subject even if the traditional RT-PCR tests fail to.

What is RT-PCR Test?
The real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is the most commonly used test method one for COVID-19.It is PCR-centric method. PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction is a process that copies and amplifies the specific genetic fragments of the virus and makes the analysis of genetic material simpler. DNA Polymerase is a enzyme that makes the copies of DNA.
  • Next Generation Sequencing method can read larger genome of a virus and therefore can provide more specific and accurate information on the virus.
  • Next Generation Sequencing will help scientists to trace and track the evolutionary history and mutation pattern of a virus more reliably.
  • Next Generation Sequencing is very useful for identifying the causes of rare genetic disorders as it zooms in to deeply sequence of a targeted regions.
  • It could be the genesis of new dimension in molecular biology exercises as it enables to study variations in the genetic compositions of yeast, plasmids, bacteria, nematodes, mammals etc.
  • The technique is able to analyze epigenetic factors like DNA-protein interactions.
  • The new technique is extremely useful for forensic scientists as the technique is able to determine the cause of death.

NGS is a tool with improved accuracy and speed along with reduced manpower and cost.NGS technology could be the solution for any complex biological scenario.

The highly scalable Next Generation Sequencing technology can be extremely beneficial for a quantitative measurements, comprehensive research and investigation on Corona virus to generate better understanding.Because it can be applied to small targeted regions or the entire genome for high resolution base-by-base view of a gene, exome or genome.

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