Research and Other Applications

Next generation DNA sequencing has had a profound impact on research and biology. The reductions in cost and time for generating DNA sequence have resulted in a range of new sequencing applications in many fields. Nowadays, almost all biology scientists depend on DNA sequencing technologies to aid their research. 

Environmental Research 

Researches in environmental science often using DNA sequencing technologies in their studies. For one instance, EPA scientists are using state-of-the-art sequencing technology to research fecal bacterial communities that have the potential to affect the U.S. beef and dairy industry, as well as future recreational water quality monitoring criteria.  Results of this study show promise for pinpointing and managing sources of fecal pollution not only in the U.S. but worldwide. (63)

Figure (65) 

Studying Mutations 

Another area in which DNA sequencing has been vital for research is the study of actual DNA mutations. With sequencing technologies becoming more and more accurate, scientist are able to understand more about the mutations that occur in all of us. In 2009, a team of 16 scientist gave, for the first time, a direct measurement of the general rate of genetic mutation of individual DNA letters in humans. In total, we all carry 100-200 new mutations in our DNA, which is equivalent to one mutation per 15-30 million nucleotides. Fortunately most of these mutations are harmless. For a long time we have know that mutations occur, but we have never had been able to actually measure how often. Now, thanks to the advances in the technology of sequencing DNA, this research had been possible. (64)

Engineering Insulin
In 1982, researchers were able to synthesize the DNA which produces insulin. This way, instead of using insulin from butchered animals, scientist could produce all the insulin they would ever need in the labortory. 

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