Knowledge of DNA sequences has become indispensable for basic biological research, other research branches utilizing DNA sequencing, and in numerous applied fields such as diagnostic,biotechnology, forensic biology and biological systematics. This is significantly accelerated biological research and discovery. The rapid speed of sequencing attained with modern DNA sequencing technology has been instrumental in the sequencing of the human genome, in the Human Genome Project. Related projects, often by scientific collaboration across continents, have generated the complete sequences of many animal, plant, and microbial genomes.
The first DNA sequences were obtained in the early 1970s by academic researchers using laborious methods based on two-dimensional chromatography. Following the development of dye-based sequencing methods with automated analysis, sequencing has become easier and orders of magnitude faster.