History of DNA Sequencing
Prior to 1970s, no progress had been made toward the sequencing of DNA. In the mid 1970s, the technology of DNA sequencing was revolutionized by Sanger, who later on won his second Nobel Prize in chemistry for this invention. The complete DNA sequence of a viral genome was reported by Sanger in 1977. However, Sanger's technique of DNA sequencing was still very slow.
By the begining of 1990s, only a handful of groups were able sequence DNA up to 100,000 bases at extremely high costs. The start of the Human Genome Project had inspired scientists and engineers to come up with automation techniques that not only speed up the process of DNA squencing but also to substantially lower its cost. DNA sequencing is now done routinely all round the world. There are now many laboratories that can sequence 100 million bases or more every year. In addition to the human genome, DNA sequencing is also used to obtain genomes of many organisms, including mice, rats, fruit flies, worms, yeast, fungi, microbes, plants, mosquitos, bacteria and viruses.