Next-generation DNA sequencing techniques have both revolutionized the field of genetics and introduced a new set of challenging bioinformatics problems. These new methods carry out a massive number of sequencing operations in parallel and read hundreds of billions of base pairs per run. (A base pair is a pair of nucleotides, either guanine-cytosine or adenine-thymine.) By comparison, the classical sequencing method (developed by British Nobel Laureate Frederick Sanger) that was used for the original human genome project produced approximately a hundred thousand base pairs of data in its optimized form — a difference of six orders of magnitude.
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