DNA sequencing is the process of determining the order of DNA building blocks (nucleotides) in an individual’s genetic code.
It includes any method or technology that is used to determine the order of the four bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine) in a strand of DNA.
Rapid DNA sequencing may soon become a routine part of each individual’s medical record, providing enormous information previously sequestered in the human genome’s 3 billion nucleotide bases.
Sequencing is used in molecular biology to study genomes and the proteins they encode. Information obtained using sequencing allows researchers to identify changes in genes, associations with diseases and phenotypes, and identify potential drug targets.
Medical technicians may sequence genes (or, theoretically, full genomes) from patients to determine if there is risk of genetic diseases.
DNA sequencing may be used along with DNA profiling methods for forensic identification and paternity testing.