Nature Methods | Methagora

Next-generation naming

What wasn’t to like when people started talking about ‘next-generation’ sequencing? It sounds so cutting edge and futuristic. But now what?

‘Next-next-generation’ and the inevitable ‘next-next-next-generation’ bring back memories of MAPKK and MAPKKK except that those had intrinsic meaning to them that were obvious to the reader; thus, they worked.

Recently, people have started using the terms ‘second generation’ to refer to the 454, Illumina and SOLiD sequencing platforms and ‘third generation’ to refer to the Helicos and PacBio platforms. Nanopore-based platforms may also qualify for the ‘third generation’ moniker.

But while the acronym NGS was readily adopted by people to refer to next-generation sequencing, SGS and 2GS just haven’t seen the same kind of uptake in the community as acronyms for second-generation sequencing. For some reason they just aren’t as visually satisfying. Eventually, I think one of these will be picked up and popularized. While neither may be beautiful (if that can be said for any acronym), either of them would be infinitely better than NNGS and, heaven forbid, NNNGS.


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