Next Generation DNA

On the Cutting Edge of Laboratory Testing:
Next Generation DNA Sequencing

The needs of biomedical research and diagnostics today are far outstripping the capabilities of traditional DNA sequencing technology. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, which can reliably and cost-effectively meet growing demands for complex and comprehensive insights, is poised to become the next standard in research and clinical settings.

Pangea Laboratory is proud to be an early adopter of NGS technology at our California-based CLIA/CAP lab. Beyond using it to develop our own diagnostic tests, we are also able to offer NGS as a custom testing solution for other businesses and research organizations.

What is Next Generation
Sequencing (NGS)?

It took 13 years and $1 billion to sequence the first human genome with traditional single-gene Sanger-based sequencing assays, with the total cost of the Human Genome Project eventually coming to approximately $3 billion. Today, with NGS, it’s possible to run the same sequence within a day for just a few thousand dollars. As NGS technology progresses, it will continue to become more cost-effective even as it delivers highly accurate results.
NGS is a high-throughput technology that sequences DNA and RNA more quickly and cost-effectively than earlier techniques

NGS is a complex sequencing technology that can evaluate, or sequence, hundreds of thousands to millions of DNA strands at the same time across multiple samples. This high throughput is a signature of NGS, with multiple rounds of sequencing performed to provide more accurate data. NGS can be used to gain insights into just a small handful of individual gene targets, or to sequence entire genomes of various organisms.

A typical NGS workflow

Library Preparation & Amplification
Data Analysis

Step 1

Library Preparation and Clonal Amplification
Samples are fragmented and collected into specific adaptor-ligated libraries. These adaptors can include specific indexes like a “barcode” to help differentiate between libraries during sequencing, allowing for multiplexed sample processing. Depending on the types of adaptors and input used, clonal amplification may be necessary to clone unique DNA molecules in each library, increasing the detectable signal from each target.

Step 2

Via the “sequencing by synthesis” method, individual bases are read as chemically modified fluorescent nucleotides, known as tagged ddNTP, and bind to the DNA strand. The different wavelength or color tagged to each ddNTP signals which nucleotide has been added. Multiple synthesis reactions can occur simultaneously, which translates to billions of DNA strands being sequenced at once.

Step 3


A large amount of complex data is generated with each sequencing run, which needs to be analyzed and interpreted for the data to be meaningful. Most analysis is performed by trained bioinformaticians, who have the tools and knowledge to perform the relevant statistical analysis with associated algorithms, visualize this information and deliver useful insights.

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) vs Traditional Testing in Diagnostics

NGS vs Sanger Sequencing

– NGS uses the same sequencing principles as Sanger sequencing, but while Sanger’s method can only sequence one DNA fragment at a time, NGS is able to sequence millions at the same time

– While Sanger is still considered the gold standard with 99.99% accuracy, the turnaround time for NGS is much faster and more cost-effective when it comes to sequencing multiple genes and more targets


– Like NGS, qPCR is reliable and offers highly sensitive detection. However, it can only be used to detect a limited set of known sequences at a time. NGS offers a comprehensive, agnostic, hypothesis-free approach, combined with greater discovery power that allows for the detection of rare or novel genes and variants, even at low frequency

– The sample throughput of NGS is also much higher than qPCR, and can more easily be scaled to sequence a greater number of targets

Why You Should Use NGS

Next Generation Sequencing can offer critical insights across a wide range of applications, more quickly and cost-effectively than ever before.

Here are just some ways Pangea Laboratory and our customers are utilizing this technology:

  • Reduce trial and error in treating acute and chronic infections with precision diagnostics
  • Studying the human microbiome and identifying causes of dysbiosis and infertility
  • Profiling DNA methylation markers for early detection of certain cancers
  • Studying epigenetic modifications to determine biological age

Choose Pangea for Your NGS Testing Needs

As a specialist in NGS testing, Pangea Laboratory has built up a comprehensive body of knowledge that enables us to effectively filter, prioritize, and interpret sample data. We build deep relationships with our customers and work hard to understand their needs, which enables us to identify the most clinically relevant and compelling research targets.

When it comes to results, we strive for accuracy and reproducibility in our tests as a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory. Our team of experienced bioinformaticians works to ensure the insights you receive are easy to interpret and implement and are continually improving our analysis to ensure that your data is meaningful and impactful.

Testing solutions at Pangea can be customized to meet your needs. We also offer a rapid turnaround time as we understand your work is critical.

Take a proactive approach to care and contact our team today to learn about how our NGS testing solutions can help you.


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