Genomics is the study of a person’s genes, and its interaction with each other and the environment. It involves a combination of recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing methods, and bioinformatics to sequence, assemble, and analyse the structure and function of genomes.
It considers the entire set of genes of an organism instead of one gene or gene product.
What is a Genome?
A genome is the complete set of genetic information of an organism. It contains all the instructions for creating and maintaining life. Every living organism consists of a genome.
A human genome consists of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. On the contrary, the genome of a virus comprises RNA as the genetic material.
Our genome contains around 20,000 genes. They make up 1-5% of our genome. The DNA between the genes is involved in gene regulation.
Also Read: Human Genome Project
Genome is a unique sequence of DNA. It is sequenced by certain machines to identify the cause of a particular disease. Some diseases are caused by very little variation in the DNA. Sequencing the genome can help us identify which DNA changes are causing the problem.
The genome of the tumour cells is altered when compared to normal cells. By comparing the genome of the normal and cancer cells we can get clues about ways to treat cancer.
The sequencing of a human genome takes about a day. However, its analysis takes a longer time.
Applications of Genomics
Following are the important applications of genomics:
DNA and transgenes are used to create oral plant vaccines that stimulate immunity. Precision medicine provides information about the genetic makeup of a patient to direct the type of treatment they receive.
Genomics has several applications in the field of bioengineering ad biotechnology. Mycoplasma laboratorium was synthesised using the gene of Mycoplasma genitalium.
Applications in Social Science
Genome sequencing is used in analysing the factors that are involved in the conservation of species. For eg., the genetic diversity of a population can be used to predict health and conservation of species.
This helps in analysing the consequences of evolutionary processes and picking up genetic patterns of a specific population. Analyses of these patterns can help to devise ways for the conservation of species.
Also Read: Molecular Basis of Inheritance