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An automated reader for electrophoresis based DNA sequencing methods is described that provides fast and accurate sequence determination. Digitized sequencing lanes are processed with homomorphic blind deconvolution in preparation for peak detection, interlane alignment, peak refinement and base calling. Initial reads from direct blot sequencing films have error rates of about 1% at the rate of 5 nucleotides/s. Typical read lengths are 500-600 nucleotides. The described reader is a significant improvement over existing readers and could be an essential component in the sequencing efforts of the Human Genome Project.