All living organisms store genetic instructions in their cells which help determine how they grow and function. Scientists have begun toread and use these genetic instructions in a new area of science called Genomics.
Genomics is the comprehensive study of the genetic information of a cell or organism This includes the number of genes in an organism, the function of specific genes, the influence of one gene on another, and the activation and suppression of genes.
Genomics examines genetic information to determine biological markers predisposing an individual to disease. Many diseases due to single gene defects have already been identified. New data obtained by human genome sequencing will help scientists better understand multifactorial diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
How does it work?
Genetic analysis is a complicated process, typically involving 6 steps.
Firstly, the DNA samples are purified. Next they are cleaned and a basic ‘cycle-sequence’ is performed. Then, any materials that have not been incorporated in the cycle-sequence are removed, cleaning the sequence-reaction.
The resulting clean, raw DNA fragments are finally then ready for analysis, typically using a capillary ‘electrophoresis-based’ genetic analyser.
Finally, the raw data from the genetic analyser is further ordered and appropriately sorted, translating it into corresponding nucleotide bases and the familiar 'DNA' output (as seen in the example output)
Genetics; inherited disorders; hereditary diseases; forensics, for example DNA fingerprinting; population movement studies; genetic modification; food studies; neurological disease reproduction pathways.
Sample handling requirements:
Samples must be prepared with suitable template and primer, with all salt and ethanol removed from the template. Only a few nano-grams of DNA material are required.
Dr Ian Hancox, 024 76 150380 email i dot hancox at warwick dot ac dot uk
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