Next-generation sequencing: from understanding biology to personalized medicine

Biology (Basel). 2013 Mar 1;2(1):378-98. doi: 10.3390/biology2010378.


Within just a few years, the new methods for high-throughput next-generation sequencing have generated completely novel insights into the heritability and pathophysiology of human disease. In this review, we wish to highlight the benefits of the current state-of-the-art sequencing technologies for genetic and epigenetic research. We illustrate how these technologies help to constantly improve our understanding of genetic mechanisms in biological systems and summarize the progress made so far. This can be exemplified by the case of heritable heart muscle diseases, so-called cardiomyopathies. Here, next-generation sequencing is able to identify novel disease genes, and first clinical applications demonstrate the successful translation of this technology into personalized patient care.