Genetic Future

Most of the posts I’ve written recently have involved next-generation DNA sequencing in one way or another, which may have left some readers scratching their heads – keeping track of the different technologies, how they work, and their strengths and weaknesses is a challenge even for those immersed in this fast-moving field.

Fortunately, help is at hand for readers who don’t know their SOLiD from their 454. Luke Jostins (who wrote a guest post here on Genetic Future a while back) has a great new post up on his blog Genetic Inference providing some background on second-generation sequencing. Luke’s post focuses mainly on the Illumina platform, currently the most widely-used instrument in the game; but there’s a promise of a future post on third-generation technologies.
Another very helpful resource for next-generation newbies is Mun-Keat Looi’s article over at the Wellcome Trust website, which comes with detailed animations explaining first-generation (“Sanger”) sequencing and both the 454 and Illumina second-generation platforms.
If anyone has other online next-gen resources that would be useful to newcomers please post a link in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.


  1. #1 Luke
    August 13, 2009

    Not exactly for the beginner, but a very interesting website on Second Generation Sequencing can be found here:

    It is half in Russian, hasn’t been updated since December, is terribly badly put together, and I have no idea who wrote it or where it came from. But it is also the most bizarrely in-depth website on Second Generation sequencing I have ever seen. It contains a load of very detailed comparisons, protocols for SOLiD and Illumina library prep, even a chart entitled “Chemical&thermal resistance of different types of plastic”.

    Plus, this comparison of Next Gen sequencing to cutting up and reconstructing 20x 50cm-thick books of Journal articles:

    I think it might be some sort of collaborative, wiki-style affair (it has ‘login’ and ‘register’ in the corner, but they don’t seem to work). It is, to me, a rather entertaining mystery.

  2. #2 cariaso
    August 13, 2009

    SEQanswers is a great resource.

  3. #3 Sandra Porter
    August 13, 2009

    Hi Daniel,

    We’ve been writing quite a bit about Next Generation DNA Sequencing in our company blog, FinchTalk, And, I just wrote a chapter on it for the September issue of Current Protocols in Bioinformatics. But you’re right, I should write more about it, here at ScienceBlogs, too.

  4. #4 Amit
    August 14, 2009
  5. #5 Patrick
    August 17, 2009

    Thank you for sharing your blog with us all.
    I had posted myself this presentation on SlideShare: Here.
    By chance this is not Russian, but….French. Easy french btw.

    It is not updated (I’m working on that) but gives a full overview on the 3 major NGS providers. Cheers.

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