99.9 Percent Accurate Genome Sequencing

Competition is fierce among biotech companies vying to bring out radical new genome sequencing machines, and it’s not at all clear who has the best approach. But a cutting-edge technique called single-molecule sequencing just got a boost from a team of computational biologists—the researchers who focus on crunching the massive amounts of data produced by genetic sequencing.

In a paper published yesterday in Nature Biotechnology, the researchers say their error-correcting software boosts the accuracy of single-molecule sequencing results to a very impressive 99.9 percent. This is for “de novo” sequencing, a tough task, in that scientists taking their first look at a species’ genome don’t have any prior results for comparison’s sake.

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