In this lecture, Weissman gives gives an overview of methods for sequencing DNA. He begins by explaining the classic Sanger sequencing technique using radioactively labeled nucleotides and gel electrophoresis. Next, advances such as fluorescently labeled nucleotides and capillary electrophoresis are introduced. Weissman then explains how automation and improved computing power allowed whole genomes to be sequenced, albeit slowly and at significant expense. Finally he introduces one of the “next-gen” sequencing technologies in which DNA is sequenced directly on a slide allowing millions of pieces of DNA to be sequenced in parallel. Weissman predicts that using this vastly improved technology will soon put the cost of determining an individual’s genome at as little as $1000.
Jonathan Weissman is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator as well as a Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. Jonathan received his undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard and his PhD, also in physics, from the Massachussets Institute of Technology. He did his post-doctoral… Continue Reading