Perspective abstract

Nature Biotechnology 26, 1125 - 1133 (2008)

What would you do if you could sequence everything?

Avak Kahvejian1, John Quackenbush2 & John F Thompson1

It could be argued that the greatest transformative aspect of the Human Genome Project has been not the sequencing of the genome itself, but the resultant development of new technologies. A host of new approaches has fundamentally changed the way we approach problems in basic and translational research. Now, a new generation of high-throughput sequencing technologies promises to again transform the scientific enterprise, potentially supplanting array-based technologies and opening up many new possibilities. By allowing DNA/RNA to be assayed more rapidly than previously possible, these next-generation platforms promise a deeper understanding of genome regulation and biology. Significantly enhancing sequencing throughput will allow us to follow the evolution of viral and bacterial resistance in real time, to uncover the huge diversity of novel genes that are currently inaccessible, to understand nucleic acid therapeutics, to better integrate biological information for a complete picture of health and disease at a personalized level and to move to advances that we cannot yet imagine.

  1. Helicos BioSciences, One Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
  2. Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Correspondence to: John Quackenbush2 e-mail:


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