The major advantage of SMRT sequencing over other technologies is the long read-length. Other major benefits of the platform, such as improved de novo assembly and detection of structural variation are derived from this advantage. With more and more evidence pointing to the importance of structural variation between different genomes, PacBio’s long reads put it in a unique market position.
While a lot of useful information can be gleaned from analyzing DNA, it can represent a somewhat static view of the organism. Outside of somatic mutations, DNA sequences change very little throughout the organism’s life cycle. Life is very dynamic by nature - being able to explore the constant change happening as an organism responds to its environment is a crucial part of the whole picture.
Metagenomics is a very broad field that can often be summarized down to the analysis of a microbiome. These microbiomes are all around and inside us. They’re in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.
The goal of the modern genomics researcher is not simply to build genomics tools or even to gather genomic data. Instead, the ultimate objective is to further scientific knowledge to better understand human disease, plant and animal genetics, microbial ecology or evolution. The genomics researcher or bioinformatician seeks a deeper understanding of the science; better research tools are only a means to this end. A number of complex steps are involved in genomic sequencing, including platform or vendor selection, sample preparation, sequencing, data management and bioinformatics. Each of these individual processes bears its own learning curve, and a failure at any step could cripple downstream results. Next Generati