In recent years there have been tremendous advances in our ability to rapidly and cost-effectivelysequence DNA. This has revolutionized the fields of genetics and biology, leading to a deeper understandingof the molecular events in life processes. The rapid technological advances have enormouslyexpanded sequencing opportunities and applications, but also imposed strains and challengeson steps prior to sequencing and in the downstream process of handling and analysis ofthese massive amounts of sequence data. Traditionally, sequencing has been limited to small DNAfragments of approximately one thousand bases (derived from the organism’s genome) due to issuesin maintaining a high sequence quality and accuracy for longer read lengths. Although manytechnological breakthroughs have been made, currently the commercially available massively parallelsequencing methods have not been able to resolve this issue.
However, recent announcementsin nanopore sequencing hold the promise of removing this read-length limitation, enablingsequencing of larger intact DNA fragments. The ability to sequence longer intact DNA with highaccuracy is a major stepping stone towards greatly simplifying the downstream analysis and increasingthe power of sequencing compared to today. This review covers some of the technicaladvances in sequencing that have opened up new frontiers in genomics.