Researchers have applied next-generation sequencing to monitor the messenger RNA output of the mammalian genome. By observing all messenger RNAs produced by complex mammalian genomes, these methods open an unprecedented window onto the biology of mammalian cells and have already allowed the discovery of new forms of mouse genes. The genome is an organism's blueprint, but it is increasingly clear that the type and amount of information generated from this blueprint is key to understanding biological function and disease. Obtaining a quantitative picture of the messenger RNA output in a particular cell or tissue type is therefore critical.
In online publications in Nature Methods, two independent groups now apply next-generation sequencing to this important problem. Sean Grimmond and colleagues use the Applied Biosystems SOLiD technology to directly sequence the messenger RNA of mouse embryonic stem cells both before and after they have differentiated in vitro. Barbara Wold and colleagues use Illumina technology to directly sequence the messenger RNA in mouse brain, liver and skeletal muscle tissue. These two complementary reports using cutting-edge sequencing technology pave the way for in depth studies of human genome expression.
Sean Grimmond (University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Barbara Wold (California Institute of Technology, USA)
Abstracts available online:
(C) Nature Methods press release.
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