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What is a DNA Sequencing Service?

Miranda Fine
Miranda Fine

A DNA sequencing service is a company that sequences DNA for profit. The increasing prominence of genetic research in medicine, pharmaceuticals, and basic biology, combined with methodological advances in DNA sequencing has created a market for fast, inexpensive DNA sequencing. There are many DNA sequencing service companies that offer different types of analyses, use different methods, and have various pricing schemes and turnaround times.

While many scientists do their own DNA sequencing, it can be faster and cheaper to have a DNA sequencing service do the work. This may be especially true for scientists who do not have access to appropriate lab facilities, or who do not make DNA analysis a major focus of their research. Typically, a researcher will choose a DNA sequencing service and contract them to do specific analyses. The researcher will send his or her samples to the company by express mail, which will then perform the analyses and may be able to report the results electronically.

DNA sequencing services perform the sequencing for a profit.
DNA sequencing services perform the sequencing for a profit.

DNA sequencing requires specific scientific equipment that is expensive to purchase and maintain, and requires training to use. DNA sequencing can also be time consuming if many samples need to be sequenced. A DNA sequencing service is likely to have the large, automated machines that can do the analyses quickly. Many researchers may opt to pay a sequencing service to do the work, rather than spend months in the lab doing it themselves. Many services, depending on the type of analysis and number of samples, promise that results will be sent electronically within 24 hours.

DNA sequencing services allow scientists and researchers from all over the world to be able to do genetic research. A researcher from a developing country, for example, may not have access to facilities for DNA sequencing. Funds may not be available to buy and maintain the expensive equipment needed to perform the procedures. Instead of having to rely on a foreign collaborator to process samples, which also requires appropriate research permits, the researcher can instead send samples to a DNA sequencing service, enabling research that might otherwise be impossible.

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    • DNA sequencing services perform the sequencing for a profit.
      DNA sequencing services perform the sequencing for a profit.