About Genomics

What is DNA?

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic code that determines all the characteristics of a living thing. A genome is the entire genetic code for an individual.

What is genomics and how can it support precision medicine?

Genomics is the study of entire genomes. Insights into an individual’s genome, a cohort of genomes, or in some cases the genome of diseased tissue, can help us understand the risk or nature of disease. These insights have the potential to deliver more precise treatment strategies with the goal of improved health outcomes. Precision medicine is a rapidly growing field, and improving genomic datasets are contributing to its evolution.

Examples of Benefits

Understanding an individual, or population’s genetic characteristics, may support public health strategies or personalised medicine. Examples of this could include:

  • Improved detection or characterisation of diseases with a genetic contribution. This may include inherited/rare disease.
  • Understanding individuals’ risk factors for more common diseases can help with lifestyle management and screening.
  • Cancer treatment may be made more precise if guided by an insight into the cancer genome.
  • ‘Pharmacogenomics’– understanding an individual’s specific response to certain medications, including seizure medications or blood thinners, and therefore tailoring the dose of that mediation to the individual.
  • DNA sequencing in infectious disease can help understand which antibiotic to use and if there is drug-resistance in that pathogen.