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Benefits of the 'Sequencing Wars'

At his BioLektures blog this week, Monkol Lek says "no matter what sequencer you buy, all customers will enjoy the benefits of this healthy competition" among third-generation sequencing technology vendors. Inevitably, such competition will generate "a much larger user community instead of three people in each city who have observed a 'sequencer in the wild,'" Lek says, adding his expectation that "the affordable costs of all three technologies will push the biotech industry to be more innovative and cost effective." To his mind, "the greatest thing that has come out of the 'Sequencing Wars' is the public release of raw data sets to accompany the application notes. This is the first time ever I have seen a biotech company say 'You don't believe us? Here's the raw data, analyze it yourself!' This is [an] extremely bold move," Lek says, one that "empowers the customers to make their own conclusions." However, given the technicalities and nuances that exist, comparing the competing desktop sequencers is made especially difficult, particularly as each technology being rapidly improved. "Therefore, it is extremely important to assess when a data set was analyzed as more rapidly evolving technologies may be extremely disadvantaged," Lek says.

Our sister publication InSequence has more on the competition between sequencing companies here.

HT: Daniel MacArthur

The Scan

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