With its unprecedented throughput, scalability, and speed, next-generation sequencing enables researchers to study biological systems at a level never before possible.
Today’s complex genomic research questions demand a depth of information beyond the capacity of traditional DNA sequencing technologies. Next-generation sequencing has filled that gap and become an everyday research tool to address these questions.
See What NGS Can Do For You
Innovative NGS sample preparation and data analysis options enable a broad range of applications. Next-gen sequencing allows you to:
- Rapidly sequence whole genomes
- Zoom in to deeply sequence target regions
- Utilize RNA sequencing to discover novel RNA variants and splice sites, or precisely quantify mRNAs for gene expression analysis
- Analyze genome-wide methylation or DNA-protein interactions
- Study microbial diversity in humans or in the environment
Accessible Whole-Genome Sequencing
Using capillary electrophoresis-based Sanger sequencing, the Human Genome Project took over 10 years and cost nearly $3 billion.
Next-generation sequencing, in contrast, makes large-scale whole-genome sequencing accessible and practical for the average researcher.
Limitless Dynamic Range for Expression Profiling
NGS makes sequence-based gene expression analysis a “digital” alternative to analog techniques. It lets you quantify RNA expression with the breadth of a microarray and the resolution of qPCR.
Microarray gene expression measurement is limited by noise at the low end and signal saturation at the high end. In contrast, next-generation sequencing quantifies discrete, digital sequencing read counts, offering a virtually unlimited dynamic range.
Tunable Resolution for Targeted Next-Gen Sequencing
NGS is highly scalable, allowing you to tune the level of resolution to meet specific experimental needs.
Targeted sequencing allows you to focus your research on particular regions of the genome. Choose whether to do a shallow scan across multiple samples, or sequence at greater depth with fewer samples to find rare variants in a given region.
How Does Illumina NGS Work?
Illumina next-generation sequencing utilizes a fundamentally different approach from the classic Sanger chain-termination method. It leverages sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology – tracking the addition of labeled nucleotides as the DNA chain is copied – in a massively parallel fashion.
Next-gen sequencing generates masses of DNA sequence data that’s richer and more complete than is imaginable with Sanger sequencing. Illumina sequencing systems can deliver data output ranging from 300 kilobases up to 1 terabase in a single run, depending on instrument type and configuration.
Learn more about sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology »
Latest Evolution of Illumina Next-Gen Sequencing
Recent Illumina next-generation sequencing technology breakthroughs include:
- 2-channel SBS: This technology enables faster sequencing with the same high data accuracy.
- Patterned flow cell technology: This option offers dramatically increased data output and throughput.
- $1000 genome sequencing: Discover how the HiSeq X Ten System breaks the $1000 genome barrier for human whole-genome sequencing.
Bring Next-Generation Sequencing to Your Lab
The following resources offer valuable guidance to researchers who are considering purchasing an NGS system:
The proliferation and complexity of gene-expression data resulting from high-throughput real-time PCR, microarray,
and RNA-Seq technologies offers an abundance of research opportunities, but presents several challenges to
getting a rapid, accurate biological understanding of data.