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Next generation sequencing conference in Münster, Germany

150 scientists from all over the world will meet on March 8-9, 2012 to exchange most recent developments on next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies / Rapid Next-Generation-Sequencing Conference for Public Health & Clinical Microbiology in Münster

Innovative next generation sequencing technologies: 150 scientists from all over the world will meet on March 8-9, 2012 to exchange most recent developments on next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. NGS enables decoding of genome sequences within few days thus allowing rapid identification of pathogens. This was demonstrated impressively during the EHEC outbreak last summer.

Since the early 1970s researchers have developed various sequencing technologies to decode genomic information which is encoded by four universal nucleotides. Whereas former sequencing technologies were very time-consuming and expensive, NGS technologies have changed genomic research fundamentally by decreasing the cost of sequencing and increasing the throughput. Nowadays the whole human genome can be sequenced within one week which took more than ten years two decades ago.

To bring together NGS experts from over 20 countries, Professor Dag Harmsen and PD Dr. Alexander Mellmann from the University of Münster organized the Rapid Next-Generation-Sequencing Conference for Public Health & Clinical Microbiology. Together the organizers identified the genome sequence of strain O104:H4 within 62 hours during the German EHEC outbreak 2011.

“Today the new generation of sequencers are becoming available that are capable of generating sequence reads in a shorter time and even lower cost thus also applicable for smaller laboratories” stated Alexander Mellmann. And Dag Harmsen added: “These instruments accelerate genome sequencing of different pathogens on top quality level. Due to the rapid technological progress, NGS can now be applied in routine diagnostics to improve prevention, risk assessment and therapy of infectious diseases”. This aim is underlined by the National Platform for Zoonoses Research which co-organized the international conference.

Renowned experts from the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European counterpart ECDC will present Public Health aspects of NGS technologies. New insights into NGS technologies and future applications will be presented by outstanding researchers from all over the world.

The conference is supported by the German research group FBI-Zoo, the National Platform for Zoonoses Research, the European project Patho-NGen-Trace, the ESCMID Study Group for Epidemiological Markers (ESGEM) and the German Association for Hygiene and Microbiology.

Contact: Dr. Thomas Bauer (e-mail:; phone: 0251 83-58937)

Dr. Christina Heimken | idw
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