Have you heard about the word genomics before? And if we may ask, why do you want to know about it? Well, if you still don’t have any reason yet, read on to know everything you need to know about genomics.
What is Genomics?
Genomics, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a branch of biotechnology concerned with applying the techniques genetics and molecular biology to the genetic mapping and DNA sequencing of sets of genes. However, in layman terms, genomics is defined as the study of genes and how they function.
The first individuals to undergo personal genome sequencing are the founders of Celera Genomics. These two people were able to access their genetic information. The information they got helped them to map out the proper healthcare they need that would keep them in good physical shape. Although genomic is a complex subject, its application is beginning to gain more recognition.
Benefits of Genomics
There are several advantages of genomics which you should know. They are as follows:
- It reveals the cause of certain diseases: This is one of the various benefits of genomics. A close study of your gene can show your doctors why you have some health challenges. For example, if an individual has cancer, personal genome sequencing would reveal the cause. From the gene testing, doctors would know if the ailment was inherited or not. Furthermore, the testing would show if the disease was as a result of the lifestyle of the person or due to the effect of the environment.
- It helps in the prescription of drugs: There will always be the constant need to manufacture new medicines. This is because most microorganisms that cause most of the common ailments undergo mutation. So, when this happens, there will be the need to develop new drugs that will be targeted at new strains of microorganisms. A patient that has had a gene testing makes it easier for the doctor to know the best drug for the particular ailment.
- It reveals the susceptibility of a person to a disease: DNA sequencing is a good way of determining the likelihood that a person would develop a certain disease later in life. Once a doctor knows the genetic mutation and presentation of a certain disease, it can be detected in people’s genes. For example, a person with a history of asthma in the family can undergo genome testing. The result would show if such individual would likely develop asthma later in life also.
- It detects diseases in fetuses: Prenatal screening is an aspect of gene testing. Pregnant women can now decide to the genetic makeup of the baby before birth. Doctors usually recommend this procedure for couples that have the potential of giving birth to a child that has defects. A typical example is the prenatal screening that focuses on sickle cell disease. Couples that are sickle cell carriers can check the DNA sequence of the foetus to reveal if the baby would be at risk of sickle cell anemia. In most cases, the result would save more than a soul.
In a Nutshell
There are a lot of things genomics would reveal about your health. It can help you to be proactive and facilitate your living a healthy life. However, the decision to go for gene testing is yours to make. Additionally, it is important that you let your doctor help you to make an informed decision about how to tackle any health challenge you might discover.
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