Thank you for Subscribing to Life Science Review Weekly Brief
Next-generation sequencing has radically changed research on fungi, including Botryosphaeriaceae, a family of plant pathogens.
FREMONT, CA: In 2006, Illumina revealed a significant development in DNA sequencing that enabled the simultaneous sequencing of many DNA strands. This fast speed made it possible to sequence the whole human genome in less than a day. This sequencing method varies from the previous method in that it does not rely on chain termination. Instead, whenever a new base is introduced to the replicating DNA strand, a fluorescent signal is generated and recognized in real time using this innovative technology.
In next-generation sequencing (NGS), many DNA strands are extracted from cells and fragmented into smaller pieces.
The fragments are then prepared for sequencing by placing them on a plate containing the reaction mixture called a flow cell. The sequencer executes multiple chemical reactions and decodes the sequences by recognizing the luminous hues emitted by the flow cell whenever a new base is added. The software can analyze these signals to generate a digital replica of the original DNA sequence. Scientists can now use this information to search for gene mutations that may cause diseases such as cancer.
How is DNA Sequencing Currently Employed?
Cancer has always posed a challenge to the medical community because each type of malignancy is unique, and even same cancer can manifest itself differently in various patients. Cancer can be caused by specific DNA mistakes found using DNA sequencing. Using NGS, scientists are now analyzing the genomes of individual individuals and identifying the DNA mistakes that are unique to each individual. This allows doctors to build personalized therapy for each patient. For instance, two people with the same form of cancer may respond differently to the same medicine; a treatment that is effective on one patient may be ineffective on the other. Using NGS, it is possible to discover minute differences in the genomes of two individuals, which can help physicians understand how to personalize medication based on genetic differences. This form of individualized care is known as personalized medicine.
The first life forms on Earth were single-celled organisms that gradually evolved more sophisticated. Animals are the most intricate forms of life on Earth. Using NGS, the human genome has been compared to the genomes of other animals, revealing exciting information about how closely or distantly people may be related to them. Moreover, minor mutationsAny change or alteration in the DNA sequence may or may not influence the gene's function. The existence of (changes in the DNA) in creatures of the same species is essential to evolution since each mutation has the potential to alter a portion of that species' genome permanently. NGS enables scientists to investigate the accumulation of mutations throughout evolution.
Sequencing has proven indispensable during the pandemic, from investigating the origins of the SARS-CoV2 virus to the rapid development of vaccines. Vaccines instruct the immune system to recognize and eliminate threats. NGS enabled scientists to sequence SARS-CoV2, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the genetic characteristics of the virus that pose a threat to the immune system, such as the spike protein. NGS was also beneficial for tracking novel viral variations, as viruses also change.
People are likely familiar with gluten allergy and lactose intolerance. By studying a person's genome, NGS enables scientists to determine whether an individual is likely allergic to gluten or lactose. Certain DNA sequences may increase an individual's susceptibility to developing allergies.
Not all microorganisms that inhabit the human body are hazardous. Beneficial microbes help people combat illnesses. The gut microbiota is a colony of microorganisms that inhabit the human digestive tract. It can be termed the "second genome" due to its influence on the immune system and overall health. The gut microbiota is difficult to examine in laboratories, but NGS can be used to evaluate the genomes of these organisms to comprehend their activities. The American Gut Project was the largest citizen science program in the world, analyzing the bacteria inhabiting the intestines of almost 11,000 people. This was made possible through NGS.