In Nature Biotechnology this week, a Stanford University team reports on the use of next-generation sequencing to study bacterial diversity in gut microbiomes. The team used a long-read sequencing approach called TruSeq Synthetic Long-Read sequencing, combining it with computational tools for metagenomic long-read assembly. They identified 178 bacterial species, including 51 that were previously uncharacterized, and discovered greater-than-expected diversity within microbial strains.
And in Nature Medicine, a group led by scientists from Washington University describes a method for finding complex insertions and deletions in next-generation sequencing data from cancer studies. Using a novel module in the Pindel algorithm, which they dubbed Pindel-C, they analyzed about 8,000 samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas, finding almost 300 complex indels in cancer-linked genes, many of which that had previously been misidentified. Several of the mutations also appeared clinically relevant and could potentially be used to guide treatment regimens. GenomeWeb has more on this study, here.