All Cancer Patients Should Have Their DNA Tested To Save Lives

All Cancer Patients Should Have Their DNA Tested To Save Lives.

A gene is a piece of DNA with a code for a specific instruction – like whether your eyes are blue or brown. A genome is an organism’s whole set of DNA. When the human genome was sequenced for the first time, scientists assumed that there would be at least 100,000 genes. In fact, there were around 20,000 – the same a starfish has. They also found that less than 5% of the genome was comprised of genes; in the past the rest was assumed to be junk. Now it is known to be incredibly important, with a vital role in controlling and regulating the way your body works. That’s why the whole genome is sequenced. The study of all the DNA in the genome together with the technologies that allow it to be sequenced, analysed and interpreted is collectively called genomics, or genomic medicine if applied to patients. About 99.8% of our DNA is the same as other human beings. But the 0.2% that is different – about 3 to 4 billion letters – is what makes each of us unique. Some variation between us is perfectly healthy but some is not and it is these unhealthy differences that the 100,000 Genomes Project is looking for. You can think of them as spelling mistakes or missing paragraphs and pages in your instruction manual. Information about exactly how an illness is affecting you is called phenotypic information. This includes the symptoms you have or whether your illness is controlled by a particular medicine. The ‘phenotype’ is an essential part of interpreting your genome. The science of genomics relies on accurate phenotypic information from the NHS and other sources. All your phenotypic information is collectively called the phenome. This article breaks new ground in potential cancer diagnosis.

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Read The Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2016: Generation Genome Here: