Scientists have created a new next-generation DNA sequencing method to find genetic changes in just one molecule. The procedure, known as Concatenating Original Duplex for Error Correction (CODEC), increases the accuracy of next-generation sequencing by about 1000 times and makes a variety of applications possible, including the reasonably priced detection of very small numbers of cancer mutations in blood samples, monitoring cancer during and after treatment, and locating mutations underlying rare diseases.
The benefits of third-generation sequencing and next-generation sequencing are combined in CODEC.
In a high-throughput procedure known as a next-generation method, the two strands of a DNA double helix are isolated and sequenced separately. This procedure is quick but needs to be more accurate in detecting rare mutations because it cannot discern the difference between mutations and sequencing errors. Duplex sequencing, a sample preparation technique that labels individual DNA strands, may differentiate between genuine mutations and errors. However, it is extremely inefficient because it analyzes each double helix strand separately.
By sequencing DNA without separating the two strands, third-generation can identify uncommon mutations, but it can also be ineffective and erroneous.
Using CODEC, the researchers searched for mutations in single DNA molecules from cancers and other patient samples and mutation frequencies in sperm and age-related changes in blood cells.
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