It seems that Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is as seasonal or innovative as fashion. Early this year Oxford Nanopore Technologies announced a revolutionising technology where NGS can be performed on very small sequencers in USB-Stick format. Just recently Complete Genomics reported about a new technology, named Long Fragment Read (LFR). LFR enables to increase the sequencing accuracy by 10-fold and reduces the amount of starting material at the same time. Additonally QIAGEN disclosed the acquisition of Intelligent Bio-Systems Inc. (IBS). A previously undisclosed NGS benchtop sequencing instrument, combining IBS and QIAGEN technology will be launched soon. The main focus of this technology is the processing of multiple samples in parallel. I am looking forward to learn more about this technology, which seems to have some things in common with the Illumina technology, since Illumina just sued QIAGEN for infringement of NGS patents.
So do we have an excess in development for Next Generation Sequencing or do we need more? My personal opinion is that innovation is the source of science and that it is important to develop new technologies. But it remains fascinating if and when any of the new technologies will replace any of the currently used technologies, like Roche GS FLX or Illumina. I’ll keep you updated.