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Next generation sequencing technologies

June 2009

We recently consulted with the UK research community about the potential impacts that the next generation of sequencing technologies will have on bioscience research.

Why?

Our Strategy Advisory Board undertook a horizon scanning exercise, ahead of the development of a work plan for the Board. Next generation sequencing was identified as an item for inclusion in the Board’s work plan.

The Board noted that:

  • Sequencing is getting cheaper and easier. The latest generation of technologies mean that it is now easy to generate sequence data. This has major implications for bioscience research, for example in areas such as:
    • Comparative genomics
    • Bioprospecting
    • Biodiversity research
  • We need to consider new scientific opportunities and new ways of working arising from these revolutionary technologies
  • A review is needed to identify key biological questions that these technologies will allow us to address

In May 2009 we established an expert panel for next generation sequencing. The panel will report to Strategy Advisory Board in late 2009.

This consultation forms part of the panel's review process. Responses will be considered by the panel and inform the panel's report to Strategy Advisory Board. This will allow us to develop a strategy for ensuring effective uptake of next generation sequencing technologies in biosciences research.