We are composed of millions of cells, each with a complete sequence of commands for making us, just like a cookbook for the body. This command, referred to as our genome, is made up of DNA. Every cell in the body, including skin and liver cells, contains these commands. Our genome’s commands are made up of DNA. Our DNA includes a chemical code that directs our development, growth, and wellness. A genomic study, one of the most advanced bio arenas, examines how a person’s genes interact with each other and with the environment.
In the simplest form, genomics studies an organism’s DNA – its genome – and how this data is used. DNA is found in every living thing, from single-celled bacteria to multicellular plants to animals and humans. Genes are sections of our DNA. Humans have around 20,000 genes that code for proteins, which are essential to our body’s building and repair. Many genes affect physical characteristics, including eye color. Others can influence the likelihood of developing health problems, such as diabetes.
In the COVID-19 pandemic response, genomic sequencing was one of the most efficient strategies that developed countries readily accepted and used to their full potential. Afraid of the inevitability of continued transmission and lacking a vaccine, governments worldwide have turned to genomic sequencing as a powerful tool to contain Covid-19. The genomic sequencing process involves comparing the virus sample taken from a patient with samples taken from other cases. It’s critical to keep a log of evolving COVID-19 variants and research their risk of transmission, immune escape, and prospect to aggravate serious illnesses as part of a successful COVID-19 pandemic response. As a matter of fact, genomic sequencing is an essential step in the procedure. When the victory of the US and UK in combating the virus is addressed, a lot of credit is given to increased vaccination coverage; however, it is often overlooked that these countries have also expanded genomic sequencing, monitored emerging variants, and then used the scientific proof accordingly.
In recent months, science has garnered our attention with Xenotransplantation – transplanting a pig’s heart to a human. Genomics played a crucial role in this challenging attempt. The practice of genome editing (also known as gene editing) was applied here, allowing scientists to change an organism’s DNA. The technology allows for the addition, removal, or alteration of genetic material at specific locations within a genome. A Maryland resident, 57-year-old David Bennett Sr, was the recipient of this animal transplant. After being rejected from several waiting lists for a human heart, he agreed to receive the experimental pig’s heart after suffering severe heart disease. Prior to Mr. Bennet’s transplant, ten genes in the donor pig were altered. Human bodies reject pig organs because of three of these genes, so they were removed. An additional gene was knocked out to stop the excessive growth of the pig heart tissue. Finally, six genes were inserted to help control the immune acceptance of the pig heart. The goal is to have an animal body that expresses tissues less foreign to the human body.
The Maryland team also used an active ingredient to suppress the immune system and help stop rejection and a new device that pumped fluid through the tissue to guarantee that the pig’s heart survived the process. Unfortunately, this method did not see fruition in its first attempt. However, Mr. Bennett’s transplant was initially successful. This is still considered a significant step forward because the pig’s heart was not rejected right away and continued to operate for more than a month, which is an essential milestone for transplant recipients.
The Human Genome Project (HGP), a global effort to ascertain the precise genetic makeup of how we develop and grow, is a watershed moment in genomics. In this venture, scientists from all over the planet collaborated. The project began in 1990 and was finished in 2003. Later, the scientists determined which bases went into making genes and which didn’t. The human genome contains about 2 percent of genes. The results also revealed that one human’s genome is 99.9 percent identical to another. What sets people apart is the remaining 0.1 percent.
According to Eric S. Lander, one of the prominent leaders of the Human Genome Project, the “real genome project” involves studying vast amounts of genomic data to identify disease genes. Even though technological advancements have reduced the cost of genome sequencing by a million-fold in the last decade, allowing researchers to map thousands of human genomes, Lander believes that the future of genomic medicine depends on countries and organizations “sharing information.”
In genomic medicine (precision medicine), genomic information is used as part of a patient’s clinical care (e.g., for diagnosis or treatment) and the health outcomes and policy implications associated with that use. The potential of genomic medicine is to create the diagnosis of the disease more reliable and cost-effective by curbing genetic screening to a single analysis, which can inform individuals throughout their lives.
Precision medicine will be built on genomics, which will significantly impact treatment outcomes in the future. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have already developed cloud computing services to store genomic data. A total of fifteen countries have invested more than $6 billion in national genomic medicine projects since 2013. Precision medicine can be enabled through large-scale initiatives of this type.
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