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A decade’s perspective on DNA sequencing technology


The decade since the Human Genome Project ended has witnessed a remarkable sequencing technology explosion that has permitted a multitude of questions about the genome to be asked and answered, at unprecedented speed and resolution. Here I present examples of how the resulting information has both enhanced our knowledge and expanded the impact of the genome on biomedical research. New sequencing technologies have also introduced exciting new areas of biological endeavour. The continuing upward trajectory of sequencing technology development is enabling clinical applications that are aimed at improving medical diagnosis and treatment.

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Figure 1: Changes in instrument capacity over the past decade, and the timing of major sequencing projects.


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I thank R. Wilson, D. Dooling and G. Weinstock for critical reading of the manuscript. J. McMichael was integral to the creation of Fig. 1.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elaine R. Mardis.

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Competing interests

I serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of Pacific Biosciences, Inc., and as part of my compensation for this service, I have stock options that have been granted to me. I am a former member of the Board of Directors of Applied Biosystems, which merged with Life Technologies in 2009. As part of my retirement from the Board membership, I received stock and stock options.

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Mardis, E. A decade’s perspective on DNA sequencing technology. Nature 470, 198–203 (2011).

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