Fortieth anniversary (1977-2017) of DNA sequencing: A review of the past, present, and furure

The [attached] review commemorates the 40th anniversary (1977-2017) of DNA sequencing –– a period during which we have already witnessed multiple incredible technological revolutions and a growth in scale from a few kilobases (1 kb = 1000 bases of DNA) to the first human genome sequence, and recently, to millions of human genomes seuenced, as well as a myriad of other genomes. DNA sequencing has been extensively and creatively re-purposed, including as a ‘counter’ for a vast range of molecular phenomena, such as being able to estimate evolutionary age and the time of divergence of one species from another via a common ancestor, and extensive use (now, almost routine) in criminology and detective work.

Authors predict that in the long view of history, the impact of DNA sequencing will be on a par with that of the microscope. DNA sequencing has two intertwined histories –– one of the underlying technologies that keep improving the efficiency and speed and accuracy of DNA-sequencing, and the other of the breadth of problems for which it has proven useful. In the attached paper, authors first review major developments in the history of DNA-sequencing technologies. Next, they consider the trajectory of DNA-sequencing applications. Finally, they discuss what they expect the future of DNA-sequencing might hold. All in all, ths makes for excellent bedtime reading. 🙂


Nature 19 Oct 2o17; 550: 345–353

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