Evolution and Scope of Digital Genome
Since the discovery of DNA for over a century, genomic research has come a long way and the sequencing of the entire human genome is one of the topics. DNA has a unique structure responsible for an organism’s genetic makeup, and any two individuals cannot possess the same DNA sequence.
So, in order to understand the complete genetic construction of an organism, we need to analyze and record the DNA sequence of the whole genome. For humans, reaching this point took a very long time due to the lack of technology. Scientists were not aware of how to deal with such a large cluster of information and where to store it but recent advances in technology and research enabled us to digitalize and store it without trouble.
DNA is a complex framework of proteins that is responsible for the transfer of genetic information through generations and also has additional functions such as – Replication, coding for amino acids, controlling of gene expression and also provides scope for the mutation that led to differences in anatomy as well as the morphology of an organism since its inception.
In 1990, the US government started an international scientific research project known as the Human genome project (HGP) to identify and map all of the genes of the human genome, and was declared complete in 2003.
This exhaustive study of the complete human genome helped scientists to better understand the internal systems of the human body and their functioning and they have also stored that information for future reference to study mutations, genetic mechanisms such as genetic disorders.
But it took them 13 long years at the cost of millions of dollars for the first sequencing of 3.2 billion base pairs of DNA but now a genome can be sequenced and digitalized in a few minutes at a minimal cost.
Genetic engineering plays a crucial role in digital genome with the help of modern technologies such as CRISPR, which enables researchers to modify a living organism’s genetic sequence by making very minute and precise alterations to its DNA. Some of its peculiar features are that it is easy to operate, cheaper, swifter, and more precise than former methods.
Gene editing has a wide array of applications, being used for the genetic modification of crop plants and livestock and laboratory model organisms (e.g., mice). These results can be directly stored on the laptop and can easily be shared via the internet which saves time and energy for the absolute study of an individual`s genetic makeup.
Biotechnological inventions have led to the manufacturing, improvement, and marketing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These organisms have considerable utility in clinical research and diagnosis that will strengthen growth in the biotechnology industry which will, in turn, have a positive impact on the digital genomics sector as well.
However, factors such as lack of understanding of the digital genome, security & privacy of patient data, and erroneous results are probably going to hinder the market expansion during the estimated period.
In the imminent future, the digital genome marketplace is anticipated to develop at a fast rate, due to escalating need to provide profitable growth prospects for this market. The high utility of digital genomics in next-generation sequencing and substantial use of microorganisms in diagnostics enterprises will further increase the growth. Moreover, an increasing amount of private and public finances is expected to push the marketplace expansion over the upcoming year.
The study of Digital genome is a rapidly enhancing field in clinical studies and is expected to alter the perception towards healthcare in the near future. It enabled the identification of individuals’ genetic makeup at a swift pace and cost-effectively that has bought a revolution within the healthcare sector.
Dimpal is a final-year Forensic Science post-graduate student at the College of Traffic
Management Institute of Road Traffic Education, Faridabad with a specialization in Physical Sciences.
She has also developed an interest in Bioinformatics and is keen to explore it further. She has
worked as an intern at various Forensic Science organizations and intends to enhance her research
knowledge by doing a doctorate.