Nav: Home

Long-read DNA analysis can give rise to errors, experts warn

January 22, 2019

Advanced technologies that read long strings of DNA can produce flawed data that could affect genetic studies, research suggests.

New methods that can read lengthy sections of genetic material - categorised by a series of letters - are up to 99.8 per cent accurate, however, in a genome of more than 3 billion letters, this may equate to millions of mistakes in the results.

These errors may falsely indicate that an individual has a genetic difference that heightens their risk of a particular disease.

Researchers say data produced by these technologies should be interpreted with caution, as it may create problems for analysing genetic information from people and animals.

Previously, genetic sequencing technologies were focused on reading short strings of DNA. These sequences would be patched together, which is time consuming and labour intensive.

This approach is useful for reading individual genes but is inappropriate for entire organisms.

Experts from the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute examined three recent studies reporting human genome sequences from long-read technologies. The data contained thousands of errors even after corrective software was used, they found.

Such mistakes could have major implications if these technologies are used in clinical studies to diagnose patients, the team suggests.

The findings are reported in a commentary in Nature Biotechnology. The Roslin Institute receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Professor Mick Watson, of the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, said: "Long-read technologies are incredibly powerful but it is clear that we can't rely on software tools to correct errors in the data - some hands-on expertise may still be required. This is important as we increasingly use genomic technologies to understand the world around us."
-end-


University of Edinburgh

Related Dna Articles:

Zigzag DNA
How the cell organizes DNA into tightly packed chromosomes. Nature publication by Delft University of Technology and EMBL Heidelberg.
Scientists now know what DNA's chaperone looks like
Researchers have discovered the structure of the FACT protein -- a mysterious protein central to the functioning of DNA.
DNA is like everything else: it's not what you have, but how you use it
A new paradigm for reading out genetic information in DNA is described by Dr.
A new spin on DNA
For decades, researchers have chased ways to study biological machines.
From face to DNA: New method aims to improve match between DNA sample and face database
Predicting what someone's face looks like based on a DNA sample remains a hard nut to crack for science.
Self-healing DNA nanostructures
DNA assembled into nanostructures such as tubes and origami-inspired shapes could someday find applications ranging from DNA computers to nanomedicine.
DNA design that anyone can do
Researchers at MIT and Arizona State University have designed a computer program that allows users to translate any free-form drawing into a two-dimensional, nanoscale structure made of DNA.
DNA find
A Queensland University of Technology-led collaboration with University of Adelaide reveals that Australia's pint-sized banded hare-wallaby is the closest living relative of the giant short-faced kangaroos which roamed the continent for millions of years, but died out about 40,000 years ago.
DNA structure impacts rate and accuracy of DNA synthesis
DNA sequences with the potential to form unusual conformations, which are frequently associated with cancer and neurological diseases, can in fact slow down or speed up the DNA synthesis process and cause more or fewer sequencing errors.
Changes in mitochondrial DNA control how nuclear DNA mutations are expressed in cardiomyopathy
Differences in the DNA within the mitochondria, the energy-producing structures within cells, can determine the severity and progression of heart disease caused by a nuclear DNA mutation.
More DNA News and DNA Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.