The ability to sequence the DNA of an organism has become one of the most important tools in modern biological research. Beginning as a manual process, where DNA was sequenced a few tens or hundreds of nucleotides at a time, DNA sequencing is now performed by high throughput sequencing machines, with billions of bases of DNA being sequenced daily around the world. The recent development of “next generation” sequencing technology increases the throughput of sequence production many fold and reduces costs by orders of magnitude. This will eventually enable the sequencing of the whole genome of an individual for under 1,000 dollars. However, mechanisms for sharing and analysing this data, and for the efficient storage of the data, will become more critical as the amount of data being collected grows. Most importantly for biologists around the world, the analysis of this data will depend on the quality of the sequence data and annotations which are maintained in the public databases.
In this chapter we will give an overview of sequencing technology as it has changed over time, including some of the new technologies that will enable the sequencing of personal genomes. We then discuss the public DNA databases which collect, check, and publish DNA sequences from around the world. Finally we describe how to access this data.
Whole Genome Shotgun Document Type Definition European Molecular Biology Laboratory Model Organism Database International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration
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