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Genome Sequencing

Genome Sequencing

Genome Sequencing is the careful process of figuring out the exact order of letters in a person’s DNA. It involves reading the genetic code, with costs changing based on how it’s done and how accurate you want it to be.

About Genome Sequencing

  • Genome sequencing involves determining the full DNA sequence of an organism’s genome.
  • The DNA molecule comprises a double-stranded structure containing four bases: Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G), and Thymine (T).

Need for Genome Sequencing

  • The sequencing of the human genome in 2003 revolutionized our understanding of the connection between diseases and an individual’s genetic composition.
  • Approximately 10,000 diseases, like cystic fibrosis and thalassemia, result from a single gene malfunction.
  • Genetic variations can make some individuals less responsive to certain medications, highlighting the importance of personalized medicine.
  • We used to mainly see cancer as a problem in certain organs, but now we’re looking at it more in terms of genetics, which helps us focus treatment better.

Genome Sequencing Methods

Clone-by-clone: Scientists copy and insert genome sections into bacteria, which then grow to produce identical copies, or “clones“, containing around 150,000 base pairs of the desired genome.

Whole-Genome Shotgun: Researchers break DNA into small random pieces. They then clone these fragments into bacteria for growth, isolation, and subsequent sequencing.

How does whole Genome Sequencing Work?

  • DNA Shearing: Scientists start by using molecular scissors to cut DNA, which comprises millions of bases (A’s, C’s, T’s, and G’s), into smaller fragments suitable for sequencing machines.
  • DNA Barcoding: Scientists add small DNA tags or barcodes to identify individual DNA fragments and their respective bacteria.
  • DNA Sequencing: The barcoded DNA fragments from various bacteria are pooled together and inserted into a DNA sequencer. The sequencer identifies the bases (A’s, C’s, T’s, and G’s) that constitute each bacterial sequence, with the barcodes aiding in tracking which bases belong to which bacteria.
  • Data Analysis: Scientists compare sequences from different bacteria using computers to spot differences, which show how closely related they are and if they’re likely from the same outbreak.

Advantages of Genome Sequencing

  • It rapidly delivers substantial amounts of data, facilitating the assembly of novel genomes and enhancing our understanding of genetic variations.
  • Next-generation sequencing, driven by advances in bioinformatics, is revolutionizing treatment approaches for common genetic conditions like colorectal cancer and melanoma.
  • Whole genome sequencing (WGS) gives a ton of genetic data, covering all six billion base pairs in the human genome.
  • WGS provides 3,000 times more genetic data compared to previous methods, enabling comprehensive genotype and phenotype analysis.
  • Longer reads in WGS, exceeding 2×100 paired, enhance the detection of copy number variations, rearrangements, and other structural variations.
  • This comprehensive analysis greatly improves predictive potential for rare diseases and personalized genomic medicine.
  • Researchers increasingly use WGS findings to tailor treatments and determine medication safety on a person-by-person basis.

Read Also: Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 (GSER 2023)

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