Genomic medicine is catering medicine to the individual's DNA, in the hopes of it working better than the average medicine. Each person is different and the respond to different medications in unique ways. Genomic Medicine is also doing health screenings sooner to try to eliminate any concern, like screening for breast cancer. Women who carry a certain mutation are more likely to have it. It can also help with the prognosis. Again with the beast cancer example, scientists have seen that people with certain mutations present, or missing, may have a higher survival rate, or a lower one. There is some problems with this too though. Some see it as pointless to test for these things when there is no know cure and the person shows no symptoms yet. Other may see that as necessary because it can help you prepare mentally and physically.
DESIGNER BABIES & BIOETHICS
Designer babies are exactly what they sound like, a baby where the parents pick the genes in order to create their "ideal" baby. They can pick anything from the appearance, gender, and health through the genetics. It is not that commo today and is rarely used, but it is slowly developing. One ethical issue with this is that if it become more common, it would probably be more expensive, meaning only upperclass citizens could afford it. It would then create a divide. There could even more easily be a division between the children. Imagine how you would feel to be a normal child versus a perfect "designer" baby. There are also still the chance that making these changes could lead to mutations or that it would be a long process to learn how to do it and then loose lives and resources. When again, this could be spent on more valiant causes.
EPIGENETICS is the study of the chemical reactions that activate and deactivate parts of the genome as the organism grows and develops. It is also the study of the factors that influence those changes. There are many different outside signals that affect it, but one thing that has really been studied is diet. The diet of the mother while she is carrying her baby can have an even bigger impact. There are many different things that affect it and knowing those changes can help us begin to find a cure to diseases one day. We all have basic DNA that makes us up, but it is the things that happen to us and how we live our life that really make us different and unique. This can be both good and bad. Having a good diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals can help you be healthier and live longer, while smoking and eating unhealthy could lead to mutations and cancer. Understanding exactly how this works can help us save lives.
DNA FINGERPRINTING & CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
DNA fingerprinting is used to help police solve a crime. They compare the DNA of the suspect to DNA found at the site and if they match, it had to be that person no one shares the same DNA, unless you have a twin! It is used when the only evidence they have is genetic, like blood or a body fluids. It is the only thing they have to go one, so that is what they use. Any evidence helps and espeacially this.
There are many different processes used to compare the DNA. One is gel electrophoresis. Everyone has their own fingerprint and everyone has their own DNA. This has been used in many cases to identify the criminal when nothing else could.
PERSONAL ANCESTRY & PATERNITY TESTS
A paternity test is used to tell is a man has fathered a child. They can tell by taking DNA samples from the suspected father and he child and seeing if anything matches up. The child should share half the the father's and mothers DNA. Ancestry testing is used to tell what ethnicity/race a person is as well as some diseases they may get later in life. It looks at patterns seen in different groups to tell a person where they come from. There are many different companies that do it and all results may not be the same or 100% accurate.
PCR & GEL ELECTROPHORESIS
PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is a technique that is used to make copies of a section of DNA. It can be used for many different situations when more DNA is needed than they have. It only takes a little bit of the DNA to make many copies. The portion of DNA is denatured, annealed, and extended many times over which doubles the amount of DNA each time.
Electrophoresis is a technique used in labs to separate molecules based on size. The charged Molecules move through a gel as an electric current is passing though it. The different sized molecules move at different speeds and different charged molecules go to different ends. It allows you to tell the difference between different DNA fragments of different lengths. By the end of the process, you can see the size of the DNA. You can actually see it because the the lights and dye used.
PLASMIDS, RECOMBIANT DNA, & TRANSGENIC ORGANISMS
PLASMIDS are round double stranded DNA molecules that are different from chromosomal DNA. Recombinant DNA is joining two molecules from different species which are then put into a new host organism. This produces new products that are helpful to many different people and different fields like medicine and agriculture. A transgenic organism is an organism that has been changed to have modified genes or genes from another animal. Both recombinant DNA and transgenic organisms are used to produce a better product, whether plant or animal. Some examples are the silk goats and golden rice, like mentioned earlier.