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How Genetic Modifications are the Future of Health

How Genetic Modifications are the Future of Health
August 19
13:23 2016

If you haven’t read up on the topic of genomics, don’t feel too bad because we hadn’t either.

For those of you not familiar with or it may have been awhile since you last heard of genomics, this study revolves around genes and how they function in the human body. And it is changing the way we approach medicine and health.

By understanding genes better, health treatments can be more effective.

So with that being said, the Human Genome Project started a mission in 1995 to discover all the genes in the human genome. And in April 2003, researchers completed the map of 20,5000 genes.

“That map was a goldmine for medical research. For the first time, medical researchers had a detailed set of instructions for creating a healthy human being. They could locate and identify diseases at a genetic level, and then design specific treatments to eliminate them without affecting anything else inside a patient’s body,” writes The Week.

Now doctors can better predict, diagnose, and treat conditions for individuals. This leads to more accuracy, with less drugs and surgeries. This also speeds up the process significantly.

“Researchers can also use genomics to target and treat rare genetic disorders which, according to the CDC, affect about 25 million people in the United States. Most of those diseases — like Angelman’s Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and FAM Hypercholesterolemia — are rooted in our genes. Genomics offers potential solutions to conditions that before could only partially be managed by medication,” writes the Week.

It has also improved cancer treatments. “Previous personalized cancer vaccines acted on faith; with genomics, we can actually know how each patient’s vaccine is unique. It is a remarkable transformation of the whole field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy,” said Dr. Pramod Srivastava, a researcher at UConn Health who is developing a personalized Ovarian cancer vaccine.

Unfortunately, it takes a while for the healthcare industry to catch up with these new advancements. Not to mention. Medical professionals have limited time to read up on the field of medical genomics.

Luckily, training on this topic is starting earlier on future doctors. “The Jackson Research Lab has already formed aconsortium of seven schools that offer introductory genomics programs for 10th and 11th graders. The program trains teachers — from public, private, urban, and rural schools, and even community colleges — in genomics and gives them hands-on resources for their classes,” writes the Week.

As the field quickly evolves and the information about this research becomes more accessible, the world will be a healthier one.

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