The Human Genome Project estimated that humans have approximately 21,000 genes, which are made up of DNA. These genes form the genome, a set of genetic instructions needed to build an organism and allow it to function. The field of genetics involves studying genes and how traits are passed from one generation to another or can help to diagnose disease through understanding the genetic code.

Genome-based research is helping to prevent and treat diseases

Researchers are using genomics to help develop new diagnostic tests and more effective therapeutic treatments. Some variations in a person’s genes can play a role in certain diseases such as cancer (e.g. breast cancer) or the blood disease, sickle cell anaemia. Understanding how and why these variations occur may help improve diagnosis and treatments for these conditions.

The results obtained from genomic research will allow medical researchers and clinicians to tailor treatments to a person’s specific genomic makeup. For example, information about a person’s genome may assist clinicians in choosing more effective drug therapy for their disease.

Image caption: Genomic analysis visualisation.

Image credit: Shutterstock

The institutes listed below are currently researching Genetics, and more information about their discoveries can be found by visiting their websites.
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