The Biggest Advances in Genomics in The Last Ten Years
Genomics ten years ago was not where it is today. People were not aware of the importance of their genes. With time, and due to the unscrambling of the genetic code, more information is available, and the awareness of genetic material is greater than ever.
All this new information has shown the advantages of getting control of genomics. It has even lead to ethical concerns that were not identified in the past. That has raised awareness on the genomics field, setting questions beyond pure science. On this article, we will take a closer look at the biggest advancements in genomics in the past ten years.
NGS stands for Next Generation Sequencing. It has set a breakthrough advancement in genomics that will take things to the next level. With NGS, it is expected that what we know about the human genomics (or any other DNA) spreads rapidly.
The NGS studies let people get a zoom in on certain details. The RNA sequencing gets an accurate analysis of a given portion in very small time. It is also affordable, and the applications are broad. The costly and long DNA studies are getting to a point in which ordinary people can afford a study to decipher part of their genomic code. That will open a new window with more funding and innovative companies taking advantage of these techniques.
For certain diseases, insurance companies will now cover the genomic studies. Some of these studies are excellent ways to fight diseases but are even better to prevent them. That can lower the financial impact of specific global health issues significantly. The odds are that the NGS will become a habit in the prevention department, addressing health concerns before they are major issues.
Early Detection with NGS
NGS is able to detect defective genes before they are even active. It is possible to foresee mutations, and most hereditary health issues such as diabetes, cancer, and others (when they are an inherited condition).
The early detection of any potential defect lets medicine take a proactive approach instead of a reactive position. It is always easier to prevent, which is like fixing things before they even happen. There is an exciting potential of the knowledge given by NGS, and the benefits are just starting to show.
Tech Integration and the Human Genes
To decipher the human genes is a promising technology that can lead to further tech integration. One of the most innovative ideas is to get an app to keep track of your personal genes. You could leave at a DNA bank a piece of you for further studies. As you request to decipher certain parts of your genes, the lab would analyze your sample, giving you concrete results.
At a basic level, you could look for physical characteristics. However, the early detection of diseases is expected to be its most critical application.
Genomics in Crops
But human applications are not the only ones. Over the past 10 years, genomics has been applied to plants. This is a less complex DNA that is easier to decipher and recode. As a result, marginal environments have been benefited with new crops with enhanced characteristics.
It is now possible to design a particular plant to be harvested under certain weather conditions. The nutritional content may also be tuned to get more benefits out of a particular plant. Other improvements include the resistance to certain plagues. Some of the species most commonly manipulated are legumes, pigeon pea, chickpea, and groundnut.
Despite the benefits are clear, and a significant enhancement is managed by controlling the genomics of plants, there is still a controversy about how this affects other living creatures. Mostly children are said to be affected by the genetically modified crops. This sort of effects is yet to be confirmed. The changes at a molecular level may or may not affect people and animals eating this modified food. Ten years seem much, but it still too little to pretend to demonstrate the truth or falseness of these claims.
The studies of plant DNA are not limited to crops. There has been extensive research over the past ten years regarding forest tree genome understanding. The knowledge in this line of research has proved to be useful to enhance our natural resources and make them last and endure.
With climate changes quickly extending all over the world, the need to adapt forest and keep the balance on earth becomes a premise. The conservation of ecosystems is endangered by natural threats. Genomic studies can ensure the survival of particular species, speeding the adaptation process.
However, even reforestation through the use of genomics knowledge has been questionable. There is no doubt there are clear benefits, but the long-term concerns have not yet been adequately addressed and solved.
21 Jan 2017 / rarikola / 0