NGS vs other molecular methods

Advantages of NGS over other molecular methods

NGS expands the scope and impact of your research by starting with a broader view

researcher with NextSeq 2000

Key advantages of NGS

With its exceptional accuracy and unbiased lens, researchers are shifting to NGS to expand the scale and discovery power of their genomics studies. Rather than being limited to sequencing one or a few regions at a time, researchers are now able to expand the scope and impact of their experimental studies.

Key advantages of NGS include:

  • Speed and power: NGS can identify variants across thousands of target regions (down to single-base resolution) in a single experiment.1-3
  • Expanded scope: Leverage NGS to reveal a broader landscape of molecular entities, enabling the discovery of novel drug targets, signaling networks, and disease markers.2
  • Unbiased research: NGS enables an unbiased approach of multiple omes (mulitomics), providing untapped insights into biological phenomena, pathways, and systems.4

For variant screening studies with a high number of samples, NGS is the most efficient and cost-effective approach for the sequencing of tens to thousands of genes compared to conventional methods.

"When you’re studying something that’s completely new or uncharacterized, you need a much bigger picture. In our project, there was a lot of uncertainty about what mechanisms are influencing our pathways. And given how little we knew about the mechanisms, we needed to use a broader approach like NGS to more fully understand the mechanism in its entirety.”

Advantages of NGS over traditional methods

NGS offers the power to sequence vast amounts of genetic material at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods, allowing for deeper exploration in your lab.2-5 Learn more about how NGS compares to the following traditional molecular biology methods:

Illumina NGS combines the power of traditional reading and counting applications. Identify full sequences and quantify expression changes in thousands of transcripts in a single assay with NGS.6-10

diagram advantages of ngs sequencing
New to NGS eBook cover
New to NGS eBook

Curious about using NGS for your research? While adopting a new technology may seem intimidating, we’ve created a comprehensive, yet easy-to-follow guide for bringing NGS into your lab. You’ll learn about NGS methods, workflows, data analysis solutions, and more in this step-by-step guide to getting started with NGS.

Download eBook

Next steps

If NGS is a good fit for you, the next steps are to consider which applications and methods you’d like to perform, and choose an instrument that matches your expected output and application needs.

NGS applications and methods

Thanks to its scale and unbiased discovery power, researchers can use NGS in a variety of basic and translational research areas. By providing a deeper view into a variety of biological systems using diverse sample types, you can expand the scope of your studies and find the answers to your boldest research applications.

Explore NGS applications

Benchtop instruments

Benchtop sequencers are a great starting point for new users. They offer features such as operational simplicity, preconfigured data analysis workflows, onboard secondary analysis, and fast workflows for a variety of popular applications such targeted sequencing. Learn more about the types of sequencers and how to choose one.

Explore benchtop instruments

Related resources
NGS workflow

Learn about the three main steps in the NGS workflow: library preparation, sequencing, and data analysis.

NGS cost considerations

Thanks to technology innovations, NGS is much more affordable. These resources will help you outline all costs and plan your experimental budget.

NGS tutorials and resources

A comprehensive list of tutorials designed to help you understand key concepts in NGS. With videos, online training, and knowledge articles, we’ll guide you through tips and best practices for library prep, sequencing, and data analysis.

Ready to speak to someone?

We’d love to discuss your current sequencing methods and see how NGS can complement or replace them. One of our specialists would be happy to discuss your research goals and NGS questions.

Speak to a specialist

  1. Myllykangas S and Hanlee JP. Targeted deep resequencing of the human cancer genome using next-generation technologies. Biotechnol Genet Eng Rev. 2010; 27: 135–158.
  2. The Scientist. Modern Multiomics: Why, How, and Where to Next? May 15, 2023. Accessed May 22, 2023.
  3. Arteche-López A, Ávila-Fernández A, Romero R, et al. Sanger sequencing is no longer always necessary based on a single-center validation of 1109 NGS variants in 825 clinical exomes. Sci Rep. 2021;11(1):5697. Published 2021 Mar 11. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-85182-w
  4. Illumina. Advantages of next-generation sequencing vs. qPCR. technology/next-generation-sequencing/ngs-vs-qpcr.html. Accessed May 22, 2023.
  5. Wolff HB, Steeghs EMP, Mfumbilwa ZA, et al. Cost-Effectiveness of Parallel Versus Sequential Testing of Genetic Aberrations for Stage IV Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer in the Netherlands. JCO Precis Oncol. 2022;6:e2200201. doi:10.1200/PO.22.00201
  6. Illumina. High-impact discovery through gene expression and regulation research. https://www.illumina. com/content/dam/illumina-marketing/documents/gated/gene-expression-profiling-e-book-web.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2023.
  7. Conesa A, Madrigal P, Tarazona S, et al. A survey of best practices for RNA-seq data analysis [published correction appears in Genome Biol. 2016;17(1):181]. Genome Biol. 2016;17:13. Published 2016 Jan 26. Doi:10.1186/s13059-016-0881-8
  8. EMBL-EBI Training. Functional genomics II: Read mapping or alignment. online/courses/functional-genomics-ii-common-technologies-and-data-analysis-methods/rnasequencing/performing-a-rna-seq-experiment/data-analysis/read-mapping-or-alignment/. Accessed May 22, 2023.
  9. Technology Networks Genomics Research. RNA-Seq: Basics, Applications, and Protocol. https:// Published April 6, 2018. Accessed June 1, 2023.
  10. Ma F, Fuqua BK, Hasin Y, et al. A comparison between whole transcript and 3' RNA sequencing methods using Kapa and Lexogen library preparation methods. BMC Genomics. 2019;20(1):9. Published 2019 Jan 7. doi:10.1186/s12864-018-5393-3