Sequencing technology does not eliminate biological variability

Nat Biotechnol. 2011 Jul 11;29(7):572-3. doi: 10.1038/nbt.1910.


RNA sequencing has generated much excitement for the advantages offered over microarrays. This excitement has led to a barrage of publications discounting the importance of biological variability; as microarray publications did in the 1990s. By comparing microarray and sequencing data, we demonstrate that expression measurements exhibit biological variability across individuals irrespective of measurement technology. Our analysis suggests RNA-sequencing experiments designed to estimate biological variability are more likely to produce reproducible results.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology / trends*
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / trends*


  • DNA