“I never dreamed that in my lifetime my own genome would be sequenced” – James D. Watson
Advances in medical technology has proven boon for us over the years. Amazing technologies are persistently coming in our lives and will keep coming so. Here, we will discuss one such medical technology – Genome Sequencing, helpful in scientific studies of heart diseases or cancer. It is indispensable to comprehend the disease first before implementing health treatments.
What is Genome or DNA?
A human genome comprises 3 billion DNA base pairs.
DNA carries the genetic instructions which direct essential functions like development, growth, reproduction etc. in our bodies.
DNA inside one single cell can be stretched up to 2 metres and when joined end to end can reach the moon and back about 1500 times and reach the Sun four times and back.
DNA sequencing is an exciting emerging technology which determines the order of nucleotides within a molecule of DNA.
What is Genome Sequencing?
Human genome sequencing is a promising approach towards modern medicine and can help understand diseases in depth.
Being aware of the genetics allows modern medicine to come up with personalized medical methodologies.
An individual can beforehand know about any probable diseases that they may develop owing to their personal diet, fitness or lifestyle habits, on the basis of DNA analysis.
More accurate and direct treatment can be administered once genome sequencing is performed
Role of Technology in Reduced Cost of Genome Sequencing
Let’s see what role technology is playing in making treatment affordable. Meanwhile, watch this 1 minute + video about role of technology
Use of genome sequencing for enhanced targeting and treatment of rare chronic diseases was out of bounds for most of the healthcare institutions owing to its high costs and technological limitations.
Progressive and cost-effective technologies emerging each day has transformed the world of genome sequencing by leaps and bounds since more and more institutions are now incorporating genetic information as a part of medicinal approach now.
Constant developments in technology throughout the past years have now brought genome sequencing into the reach of the common man. Customized genome medicine is now not only restricted to those paying top dollars.
Healthcare technological innovation and progress has drastically slashed down the costs associated with DNA sequencing and genomic medicine in the past two decades.
The genome sequencing costs have plunged to $1,000 currently, dropping from an exorbitant cost of millions of dollars, all because of exponential growth in technology.
The newer technologies have driven down the costs of sequencing, which in turn has made it possible for scientists to get more DNA sequence for each dollar that comes out of their laboratory fund. It becomes economically feasible to sequence not one but hundreds or even thousands of genomes.
This development has led to a new age of modern biomedicine, which makes it possible to investigate the human genome on an individual case to case basis, bringing out deviations in a person’s DNA. This technological advancement helps medical science to evaluate and understand the biology of diseases and may even guide the cure.
Like the two faces of a coin, there is a challenge with genome mapping also. No doubt, with the advancement in technology, genome mapping cost has dropped many times. Still, in a developing country like India this is out of the financial reach of many patients. According to medical industry experts, in the next decade, the cost of genome mapping for a patient would cut down by 90%.