Genomics refers to the study of genes and gene sequences. Humans are made up of cells. Cells consist of cellular bodies, including a set of gene sequences. Each human is born with a specific genomic sequence. These genomic sequences are further broken down and researched to come up with treatments and diagnoses. Pondering over the need for this sequencing? Through the study of Genomics, it is possible to predict, diagnose, and find cures for diseases more efficiently and accurately than before. Not just that, but it also contributes toward treating illnesses more personally, the right cure according to the genome of an individual.
Genomics: 5 Undiscovered Things
Non-coding DNA, which does not contain instructions for making proteins, was once considered “junk DNA.” However, recent research suggests that non-coding DNA plays crucial roles in regulating gene expression, controlling development, and influencing disease susceptibility. Exploring the functions and interactions of non-coding DNA may unlock new insights into genetic regulation and shed light on complex biological processes.
Epigenetics refers to changes in gene expression that do not involve alterations in the underlying DNA sequence. These modifications, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, can be influenced by environmental factors and can have long-lasting effects on gene activity. Uncovering the full extent of epigenetic modifications and understanding their implications for health and disease is an ongoing area of research in genomics.
Microbes, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, have their own genomes, known as microbial genomes. Studying microbial genomics can provide valuable insights into the interactions between microorganisms and their hosts, the role of the microbiome in human health, and the development of targeted therapies. Exploring the vast diversity of microbial genomes and their impact on various ecosystems and disease states remains an exciting frontier in genomics.
Genetic Variation in Underrepresented Populations:
Many genetic studies have focused primarily on populations of European descent, resulting in a limited understanding of genetic variation in underrepresented populations. Genomic research that encompasses diverse ethnic and geographic groups is crucial for capturing the full spectrum of genetic diversity and ensuring equitable healthcare advancements. Identifying unique genetic variations and their implications across diverse populations may lead to more personalized and inclusive approaches to healthcare.
Genes do not act in isolation; they interact with environmental factors to influence health and disease. Exploring gene-environment interactions in genomics can help unravel the complex interplay between genetic variations and environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, toxins, and social determinants. Understanding these interactions may enable the development of tailored interventions and precision medicine approaches that consider an individual’s genetic makeup in the context of their environmen
Let us dive into the history of Genomics. DNA was differentiated in 1869. But, the sequencing of the Genome took place almost a century later. Genomics began late in the 1970s, following various milestones that would revolutionize the healthcare system. Frederick Sanger developed a DNA sequencing technique, which he and his team then used for sequencing the first genome in 1977. Later in the 1990s, the human genome project was launched. In 1996, the first-ever cloned animal, Dolly was born at Roslin Institute. Fast forward to 2001, the first-ever draft of the human sequence was released.
If the disease is diagnosed early, it is even easy to find the cure quicker. By the study genomics, it is possible to diagnose the disease even before the critical symptoms start showing. If family history indicates an illness is inherited, people may suffer due to perceived disease risk. Even if a person who is not considered to be at high risk for a certain disease may not be eligible for positive medical testing, they can still use direct-to-consumer testing to manage their genetic condition.
The Human Genome Project is a benchmark research project by multiple international research communities. The Human Genome Project was a significant international scientific undertaking with the primary objective of producing the first sequence of the human genome. Over 90% of the human genome was covered by the genome sequence the Human Genome Project generated in 2003. Scientists from governmental, public, and private institutions get funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and work together on projects. The Human Genome Project includes sequencing the genomes of numerous additional creatures in addition to the human genome, such as yeast, fruit flies, E. coli roundworms, and mice.
The substantial research, and development tactics used by biopharmaceutical companies for drug discovery, and improvements in technology-enabled customized medicine are further factors contributing to the genomics market’s rise. For instance, Clemson University researchers introduced an open-source model in August 2022 that is intended to help researchers build prediction models to represent intricate cellular interactions and enable the integration of large datasets for personalized medicine applications like drug-matching for cancer therapeutics.
Illumina is leading the Genomics market in using short-read sequencing technology, where DNA is broken into short segments to help in genetic research. Other key players are Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Oxford Nanopore Technologies, QIAGEN N.V, BGI, Eurofins Scientific, GE, Healthcare, Agilent Technologies, Inc., Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. And others.