Your genome is your body's instruction manual. It contains all the information required to make you, maintain you and repair you. There's a copy of your genome inside almost every cell in your body.
Genomics is the study of your genome, its function, and the technology that's required to analyse and interpret your genomic information.
Genetics & Genomics
Genomics is defined as the study of genes and their functions, and related techniques. The main difference between genomics and genetics is that genetics scrutinizes the functioning and composition of the single gene where as genomics addresses all genes and their inter relationships in order to identify their combined influence on the growth and development of the organism.'
What are Genes?
Genes are parts of our DNA, our biological blueprint. Genes are made up of DNA chemical “letters”. Different genes have different combinations of these DNA “letters”, spelling out the instructions for how cells in our body should work.
What is Genomics?
Genomics is an area within genetics that concerns the sequencing and analysis of an organism’s genome.
The genome is the entire DNA content that is present within one cell of an organism. Experts in genomics strive to determine complete DNA sequences and perform genetic mapping to help understand disease.
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Variations & Mutations
What is a gene mutation? We all have differences or variations in our sequence of DNA “letters” and that is why we are all different. Most DNA differences are harmless. Mutations are like “spelling mistakes” in the DNA code. They make a gene “faulty”. A gene mutation may cause a disease or increase the chance of developing a disease.
Next Generation Sequencing: The Basics
Also known of as high throughput sequencing, next generation sequencing (NGS) is the term used to describe several modern sequencing technologies that enable scientists to sequence DNA and RNA at a much faster rate and more cheaply that Sanger sequencing, the technique previously used. NGS has revolutionized the study of molecular biology and genomics.
Nucleic acid sequencing is a technique used to determine the exact sequence of nucleotides within a given molecule of DNA or RNA. First generation sequencing or Sanger sequencing was the technique used to complete the Human Genome Project, which finished in 2003.
History of Genomics
Although DNA was first isolated in 1869, it was not until more than a century later that the first genomes were sequenced, making genomics a relatively new discipline. Genomics, as we now know it, truly began in the 1970s, although there were several significant milestones that shaped the field in the preceding century.
Genome projects typically involve three main phases: DNA sequencing, assembly of DNA to represent original chromosome, and analysis of the representation.
DNA sequencing is the process to determine the nucleotide order in a specific DNA molecule, which is useful when attempting to understand its function and consequent effects in the organism it resides in. DNA sequence assembly involves the alignment and merging of DNA fragments to reconstruct the DNA so that smaller sections of the genome can be analyzed.
The analysis of DNA phase is the final step in genome analysis. It brings together the discoveries from the previous phases of the project to form conclusions, which can offer true value to further our knowledge of the genome and be applied in relevant situations.
What is the Genetic Code?
The genetic code is a set of instructions that direct the translation of DNA into 20 amino acids, the basic units of proteins in living cells. The genetic code is made up of codons, which are three-letter chains of nucleotides. Each codon codes for one specific amino acid.
Genomics is a relatively new field of research, which began in earnest late in the twentieth century, although the basis of DNA was discovered more than a century earlier. The recent progressions made in genomics research have opened up exciting possibilities for genomics applications in other fields, some of which may offer health and medical benefits.