Sanger sequencing and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) are two technologies that allow us to decipher the sequence that is present on a certain piece of DNA. Sequencing is the act by which we find the composition and order of bases (A,C,T,G) present in a DNA segment.
Sanger sequencing is the oldest of the two technologies and consists of sequencing one DNA segment at a time. Today, using Sanger one can sequence up to 96 different DNA sequences simultaneously.
NGS sequencing is a recent technology and allows several millions of molecules to be sequenced at the same time and, therefore, an entire human genome (or exome) can be sequenced within 48 hours.
Running a DNA sample on a NGS sequencer is a lot more expensive than running a DNA sequence with Sanger sequencing technology. However, as many millions of different molecules can be sequenced at the same time with NGS, the price per DNA base is cheaper than Sanger.
Sanger sequencing with 99.99% accuracy is the “gold standard” for clinical research sequencing. However, newer NGS technologies are also becoming common in clinical research labs due to their higher throughput capabilities and lower costs per sample.