Emerging DNA Sequencing Technologies That Strengthen the Modern Molecular Biology
DNA sequencing is a technique of determining the nucleotide bases of a DNA fragment, which is very crucial for understanding genetic diseases and is highly beneficial for cancer diagnostics and forensics. Sanger’s sequencing technique is the basic approach for DNA sequencing, however, advancements in technology have now offered better and refined methods that assist researchers in multi-DNA sequencing simultaneously.
The growing technological advancements have penetrated almost every aspect of our daily lives to make things efficient. Just like any other realm, even the molecular biology space is getting benefitted because of automated DNA sequencing and other proposed techniques like multiplex sequencing and the application of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. But before exploring some emerging DNA sequencing technologies, let’s recall the meaning of DNA sequencing first.
DNA sequencing is a method of determining the nucleotide bases of a DNA strand. This process is extremely important to understand a specific genetic disorder, cancer diagnostics, forensics, and genetic profiling. Today, with the help of the right techniques like Sanger’s and non-Sanger’s methods, sequencing of numerous DNA strands can be done effortlessly because of parallelization.
Moreover, as per a detailed report published by Research Dive, the North America DNA sequencing market is predicted to generate a revenue of $9,154 million and grow at a stable 15.9% CAGR during the 2019-2025 forecast period.
To sequence the DNA of every human chromosome, some early DNA sequencing technologies like Sanger’s sequencing process enabled 4 parallel sequencing reactions and the upgraded 454 sequencing that allowed sequencing of fragments of up to one billion bases in a single day helped scientists in the completion of the Human Genome Project. However, technology has brought newer and the fastest methods to make the DNA sequencing process less painstaking and unchallenging.
DNA Sequencing by Hybridization
This approach collects overlapping oligonucleotide sequences that are assembled to determine an organism’s DNA sequence. Hybridization enables scientists to gather genome information of different species and organisms for the development of medicines and biological sciences. Some applications of this approach are DNA fingerprinting of normal and disease-causing genes, physical mapping of overlapping DNA clones, etc.
Multiplex DNA Sequencing
Multiplex sequencing, also known as sample multiplexing, enables the sequencing of many DNA fragments simultaneously. This approach is highly suitable in the case of working on smaller genomes or targeting certain genomic regions. The technique is cost-efficient, less time-consuming, and is considered a fast high-throughput strategy since large DNA samples can be sequenced during a single experiment.
Flow cytometry technology uses lasers as light sources to provide rapid multi-parametric analysis of single cells. The lasers produce scattered as well fluorescent light signals that are recognized photodiodes. These signals are later converted into electronic signals for better analysis by a computer and then written in a standard format file. This technology is applied in virology, bacteriology, immunology, and other infectious disease monitoring processes.
Although old sequencing technologies have provided enough information about genomes, newer DNA sequencing techniques have made it possible for researchers and scientists to sequence multiple DNA fragments simultaneously at speeds never possible before. Approaches like flow cytometry, hybridization, and sample multiplexing are the outcomes of refinement of the base technique- Sanger’s sequencing method.
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