DEFINITION of 'Genomics'

The study of the genome, which is the complete set of the genetic material or DNA present in an organism. Genomics studies all genes and their inter relationships in an organism, so as to identify their combined influence on its growth and development. The field of genomics attracted worldwide attention in the late 1990s with the race to map the human genome. The Human Genome Project (HGP), completed in April 2003, made available for the first time the complete genetic blueprint of a human being. Genomics has already made huge strides in better health care by enabling researchers to develop improved diagnostics and more effective therapies, while providing better decision-making tools for patients and health care providers.

BREAKING DOWN 'Genomics'

The human genome is a very complex entity containing huge amounts of information. DNA molecules are made of two twisting, paired strands – often called a double helix – and each strand consists of four chemical units called nucleotide bases – adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). Bases on opposite strands pair in a very specific manner – for example, an A always pairs with a T, and a C always pairs with a G. The order of this “genetic alphabet” determines the meaning of the information encoded in that part of the DNA molecule.

The human genome contains about 3 billion of these base pairs. Genome sequencing involved figuring out the exact order of all 3 billion of these DNA nucleotides, a feat which would not have been possible without massive amounts of computing power.

The Human Genome Project, which was formally initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health in 1988, was successfully completed in April 2003. It was designed to create a resource that could be used for extensive biomedical studies, such as looking for the genetic variations that increase the risk of specific diseases. A study released in June 2013 reported that the $14.5-billion investment in HGP by the U.S. had paid off more than 60-fold in new jobs, drugs and a booming genetics industry, with a total economic impact of $966 billion.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Molecular Biology

    The study of biology and biological processes at the fundamental ...
  2. Biotechnology

    The use of living organisms to make products or run processes. ...
  3. Genetic Engineering

    The artificial modification of an organism’s genetic composition. ...
  4. Major Pairs

    The four forex pairs which are considered to be the most heavily ...
  5. Human Capital

    A measure of the economic value of an employee's skill set. This ...
  6. Human Resource Planning - HRP

    The ongoing process of systematic planning to achieve optimum ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Illumina Launches $100 NovaSeq Gene Sequencer

    The launch of Illumina's low-cost genome sequencing machines offers high sales prospects.
  2. Tech

    Marijuana Genomes Now Registered on the Bitcoin Blockchain

    The growing legal marijuana industry has seen some companies documenting cannabis geomes on the blockchain in an effort to increase quality control.
  3. Tech

    Microsoft to Store Data in DNA (MSFT)

    Big data storage poses a challenge to the digital economy. As DNA sequencing becomes affordable and scalable, it serves as a prospective storage vessel.
  4. Insights

    Can Your Boss Make You Take a Genetic Test?

    Not yet, but a House bill would strip protections that prohibit employers from making genetic tests part of their wellness program.
  5. Investing

    What are Genetic Algorithms?

    Genetic algorithms are problem-solving methods that mimic natural evolution processes.
  6. Investing

    The Gene-Editing Revolution: What Is CRISPR-Cas9?

    Not even five years ago, researchers came across a feature of bacterial genomes that has the potential to change the world in profound ways.
  7. Investing

    Health Care ETFs to Date: 2016 Performance Review (IHI, XBI)

    Find out how the health care sector has been performing in 2016, and which health care ETFs have been the best and worst performers.
  8. Insights

    Which Consumer Genetic Tests Are FDA-Approved?

    Now you can get some genetic tests without going to a doctor. Should you?
  9. Investing

    Cloud Computing Companies Move Into Medical Diagnosis

    Google and IBM are using their cloud services to analyze patient and disease data.
  10. Investing

    Genetic Technologies Launches ADS Offering (GENE)

    Genetic Technologies expects to raise more than $6 million through an offering of its American Depositary Shares.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Who are Monsanto's main competitors?

    Learn about Monsanto Company's two main operating divisions and its main competitors within each sector, including The Mosaic ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is human capital and how is it used?

    Learn about the concept of human capital, how it is developed and why it is important for businesses to protect their human ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do managers measure human capital?

    Learn what human capital is, how managers measure it and how managers measure human capital's return on investment to gauge ... Read Answer >>
  4. At what stage of business should human resources planning occur?

    See why strategic human resources planning is an ongoing process, and learn how an HR department plays a crucial role in ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do firms improve their employees' human capital?

    Learn what human capital is, how a firm can benefit from improving human capital and some ways a firm can improve its employees' ... Read Answer >>
  6. Human capital vs. physical capital: What is the difference?

    Learn the difference between physical capital and human capital and how to find the value of each in financial statements ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Net Profit Margin

    Net Margin is the ratio of net profits to revenues for a company or business segment - typically expressed as a percentage ...
  2. Gross Margin

    A company's total sales revenue minus its cost of goods sold, divided by the total sales revenue, expressed as a percentage. ...
  3. Current Ratio

    The current ratio is a liquidity ratio measuring a company's ability to pay short-term and long-term obligations, also known ...
  4. SEC Form 13F

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also known as the Information Required of Institutional Investment ...
  5. Quantitative Easing

    An unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases private sector financial assets in order to lower interest ...
  6. Risk Averse

    A description of an investor who, when faced with two investments with a similar expected return (but different risks), will ...
Trading Center