How is NGS Different from Sanger Sequencing?

Introduction Sequencing DNA involves biochemical processes to ascertain the order (sequence) of nucleotides of DNA strands. Maxam-Gilbert and Sanger methods were developed over 40 years ago, but the Sanger method soon dominated the DNA sequencing arena. With this method, DNA is repeatedly copied resulting in DNA fragments of varying lengths. The ends of each fragment […]

Race and Predisposition to Disease

Introduction Interdisciplinary efforts over several decades have provided intriguing information regarding the factors that contribute to racial differences in health status and outcomes. Even with this information on hand, challenges remain regarding improved characterization of these various biological and environmental factors. Advances in genomic studies have provided some of the valuable tools and data needed […]

Next Generation Sequencing Could Dramatically Impact Life Expectancy

Introduction A Centers for Disease Control website provides a definition for life expectancy as “the average number of years that a hypothetical group of infants would live at each attained age if the group was subject, throughout its lifetime, to the age-specific death rates prevailing for the actual population in a given year” (1). It […]

Chromatin Immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq)

Chromatin Immunoprecipitation assays have the ability to capture an image of specific protein to DNA interactions that are occurring in a system and process these interactions using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), ChIP-chip, or next generation sequencing (NGS). When paired with next generation sequencing specifically, ChIP-seq is a powerful way to identify genome-wide DNA binding […]

Role of Next-Generation Sequencing in Pancreatic Cancer Management

Introduction Pancreatic cancer (PC) is considered one of the most fatal cancers in the U.S. and other developed countries. The best outcomes and survival rates after treatment are only possible with early detection and treatment before the onset of symptoms. There is a great need to uncover ways to detect PC early to achieve better […]

Advances in Microbiome Diagnostics

Introduction The organisms that are a part of our normal biology are essential for our survival and well-being. The genetic material of these organisms collectively makes up the human microbiome. However, there are many scientists that use the term microbiome interchangeably with microbiota (the actual normal microorganism in a particular environment, such as the human […]

HLA and Pharmacogenetics

Introduction For years, the unpredictability of drug reactions has served as an underlying uncertainty in the safety of medications. This is because many of these reactions are specific to certain individuals and populations and under specific circumstances with an unknown basis. Adverse drug reactions can be very medically devastating, leading to severe consequences including death. […]

Molecular Basis of Immune Diversity and Emerging Clinical Applications

Introduction A wide variety of immune mechanisms have evolved in living organisms that serve to protect them from many types of disease-causing agents. These mechanisms differ in various ways including in how the immunity develops and how the agents or pathogens are processed and destroyed by the organism’s immune cells. These different mechanisms of defense […]

Advances in Characterizing the Genetic Basis of Autism

Introduction The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) continues to be challenging and depends on neurological and psychological analyses. A number of risk factors and genetic associations with the disorder have been identified. However, work is ongoing to better characterize the genetic basis of ASD, to determine how to identify the risk for ASD, and […]

Using Next-Generation Sequencing in Infectious Disease Diagnosis

Introduction The need for accurate and rapid identification of infectious agents in individual illness and global health threats cannot be overstated. Limitations in the timeliness and accuracy of pathogen identification have devastating public health consequences. The current methods that are routinely used often provide data in a time span that does not allow the most […]