Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies offer high-throughput, rapid and accurate methods of determining the precise order of nucleotides within DNA/RNA molecules. Since the advent of modern sequencing techniques, identification of nucleic acid sequences has become a ubiquitous and essential tool across all areas of biological science. Correspondingly, the field of bioinformatics is central to the interpretation and application of this biological data. Using mathematical and statistical methods implemented by a wide range of programmatic languages, bioinformatics tools organise, analyse and interpret biological information at the molecular, cellular and genomic level. The combined power of NGS and bioinformatics is vital for diagnostics, medical treatment and epidemiological research. The NGS/Bioinformatics core facility was established in 2016 to cater for growing demands in NGS analyses at the NIBSC.
Our team of sequencing scientists and bioinformaticians provide end-to-end support in all stages of sequencing experiments: from experimental design through to final analysis. We collaborate with groups in every scientific division across the NIBSC, with projects ranging from validation of SNPs in individual genes to viral/bacterial whole genome sequencing to transcriptomics.
We undertake all NGS projects within the institute. Most commonly these include:
Illumina NextSeq 500
Besides generating NGS, we provide rigorous bioinformatic analyses individually tailored to each project. Utilising best practice techniques, the latest analyses and bespoke statistically robust methods, we apply computational methods to answer a large range of biological questions. Although sequencing bioinformatics is our primary computational role, we also work with data generated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, light microscopy and electron microscopy experiments on our high-performance computing cluster.
The support we offer includes;
We use over 100 pieces of software and close to 500 different software libraries to provide the best and most appropriate analyses. The core facility is committed to maintaining a comprehensive and up- to-date catalogue of software, backed by peer-reviewed journal articles. These analyses are run on our high-performance computing cluster that combines the best of on-site and cloud resources.
It is the combination of both, high quality wet-lab NGS service and cutting edge, statistically robust bioinformatics working in unison that gives our collaborating groups in NIBSC the highest level of scientific support.
As a core facility within the NIBSC our aim is to optimise the sequencing process for applications in the development of biological standards and applied biological research.