Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Human Genome Sequencing technology and predictive medicine - an emerging field for future

The Human Genome Sequencing is to determine the primary structure of chemical base pairs which make up DNA and to identify and map approximately 20-25 thousand genes of the human genome from both a functional and physical standpoint.

The first available assembly of the genome was completed in year 2000 by the UCSC Genome Bioinformatics Group(genome.ucsc.edu).Towards the end of 2009,India's CSIR scientists working with the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in New Delhi decoded the genome of a 52-year-old man from Jharkhand after nine weeks of study -a first in the country. The feat has helped India join a select club of countries -- the US, UK, Canada, Korea and China.

Benefits of Human Genome Sequencing 
Genetic sequencing will help in early diagnosis and management of diseases, including cancer. Persons with genetic profiling will get an indication of diseases to come. It is significant as the ability to assemble the genome shows our capability to study the variations in genes and, thus, will revolutionize future disease predictions and treatment methodologies.

It is a great development as genomics has the potential to bring down the cost of healthcare by offering specific drugs by identifying the gene mutation, and can also predict the onset of a disease. Companies can make more accurate drugs for specific populations.

  1. The detailed knowledge of the human genome will provide new avenues for advances in medicine and biotechnology.
  2. It can significantly help the etiologies for cancers, Alzheimer's disease and other areas of clinical interest.
  3. The analysis of similarities between DNA sequences from different organisms is also opening new avenues in the study of evolution.
Genomics and proteomics data are being sought along with clinical trial data for many of the latest drug approvals by US drug regulatory agency FDA (Food and Drug Administration - fda.gov) 

Emerging field of research and industry in India 
Biocon, Reliance Life Sciences,TCAG etc have set up advanced infrastructure and highly experienced research team to conduct high-end molecular diagnostics, genomic studies, gene-based research services and innovative drugs. 

Accurate and affordable treatment in future 
Scientists can find precisely what leads to the next damage in one's cells, predict mutations in the gene and can pinpoint the disease that the person may get or the son/daughter will be prone to. Genomic tools and analysis will help to develop personalised medicine or designer drugs for accurate treatment.

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