A Question About Next Generation Sequencing

If you follow the science bloggysphere, especially after a genomics conference, you will often come across the phrase “next generation sequencing”, often abbreviated to “NGS.” It typically refers to sequencing technologies that can generate massive amounts of sequencing relative to old-school, dideoxy Sanger sequencing.

What I don’t get is why we’re still calling it NGS. I can understand using the term in 2006 or so, as we were moving from the ‘Sanger world’ and adopted these then-new technologies. At that time, NGS was a real breakthrough. But in 2013, these are standard technologies.

Maybe it’s time we just call them “sequencing”?

Though that sounds a lot less sexy.

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4 Responses to A Question About Next Generation Sequencing

  1. Now I hear “pyrosequencing” a lot, but even that doesn’t really cover the breadth of methods. But it sounds like there’s fire involved, so it’s at least a little sexy.

  2. Yoder says:

    Well, we kept calling it “Star Trek: The Next Generation” even after “Deep Space 9” had launched. [ducks]

    Seriously, though, what about “high-throughput sequencing?” That sets the newer methods across from Sanger sequencing, and still retains a frisson of novelty.

  3. EvoStevo says:

    seems to me that it is dying out. Most people I encounter refer to the proprietary sequencing platform. i.e. 454, Illumina, PacBio. This is most accurate and communicative, although it risks being jargon to a non-technical audience, in which case “sequencing” will probably suffice.

  4. proflikesubstance – pyrosequencing might cover Ion Torrent, but not other next-next gen platforms, which I think we’ll end up calling single-molecule sequencing (if ONT ever ship and if PacBio still exist).

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