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Series 6: The Evolution of Sequencing Technology (July 16-19), 2015


Scope and Contents

This meeting brought together the major researchers involved in DNA sequencing since its inception in the 1960s. Prominent guest speakers examined the history of sequencing and how the technology has transformed the biological sciences over the past five decades. Sequencing began with the British biochemist Fred Sanger, two-time winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. While studying nucleic acids in the early 1960s, Sanger figured out a way to sequence small sections of RNA. This work evolved into methods of sequencing DNA, giving geneticists the tools to usher in yet a new era in biology. The Cold Spring Harbor meeting began with a memorial session honoring Sanger and his work. The meeting was a unique chance to see science and history merge in a single event. A focus on the evolution of sequencing technology meant framing contemporary knowledge in terms of the field’s history. The meeting was international in scope, featuring world-recognized scientists who worked or continue to work in the area of sequencing technology. Scientists from major centers of genomics research in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and China convened to give and hear lectures. Among the speakers were Nobel Laureates and titans of molecular biology including Walter Gilbert and James Watson, as well as several students of Sanger himself. The opening session covered the early efforts in protein, RNA and DNA sequencing. Other sessions covered advances over the years in the capture of raw sequence information; the hurdles that had to be overcome to scale these methods to generate the millions of reads required for complex genomes; and the development of strategies and software that converted these millions of reads into larger segments and, ultimately, whole genomes. Also covered was the adaptation of DNA sequencing to measure a variety of biological functions and how the dramatic decrease of the cost of DNA sequencing has led to an increasing appreciation of the significance of human variation in health and disease and to improved understanding of our evolution as a species. See


  • Creation: 2015



1 Gigabytes

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA