What is Genomics?
The Full Picture
Though genetics sounds a lot like genomics and the terms are often used interchangeably, there are important distinctions between them.
Genetics involves the study of individual genes that code for specific traits or conditions. These genes have known functions in the body and are inherited in specific ways from one generation to the next through DNA—the basic unit of heredity.
In genetic testing, a particular gene or genes that have a known role in the body are examined to see if any changes, or mutations, are present.
Genomics is a newer field—the study of the entire human genome (the 3 billion units of DNA across all 23,000 genes). The human genome includes not only the genes that encode proteins, but also the DNA sequences between genes which play other important roles such as turning genes on and off, and determining when and how much they work. Genomics even considers the interrelationships between genes and also how genes interact with environmental factors.
Genomic testing involves the analysis of large amounts of DNA sequence data—often the entire human genome—to locate variations that affect health, disease or drug responses. The field of genomics has been made possible by technical advances in DNA sequencing as well as computational biology.
ORM is proud to be leading the way in genomics, with its potential to transform reproductive medicine and contribute to healthy families.
With genomics, complex causes of infertility can be revealed, empowering us to personalize and optimize fertility diagnosis and treatment for every patient.
Genomic medicine will increasingly allow future parents to identify their own disease susceptibilities and prevent certain genetic disorders from ever occurring in their offspring. A deeper understanding of the genomic health of embryos promises to bring powerful medical information to the field of reproductive medicine.