Genomics

Genomics is a branch of biology focused on the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes, the complete set of DNA in the single cell of an organism. Sequencing a genome means determining the order of its chemical sub-units. Scientists use these sequences to map and catalog human genetic variation to improve our understanding of human biology, disease susceptibility, and drug response. 

As the cost of genetic sequencing has fallen rapidly in recent years, concerns have increased about inaccurate or misunderstood results, violations of genetic privacy, and misuse of genetic databases. Though direct-to-consumer genetic testing has become a highly publicized industry, many experts express considerable skepticism about its usefulness, either for health conditions or ancestry information. Genetic sequencing is also increasingly used in police work, since DNA in even small amounts of blood, saliva, or other biological materials left at a crime scene can identify or exonerate a suspect. However, police DNA databases, which in many jurisdictions include people who have been arrested for but never convicted of a crime, raise concerns about privacy, potential civil liberties violations, and racial discrimination.


Aggregated News

You probably wouldn’t hand out your social security number without having a pretty good idea of how that information was going to be used, right? That would be dumb. It’s extremely sensitive information. And yet, the consumer genetic testing market ...

Aggregated News

The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced last week that it is launching a new study of certain types of DNA analysis used in criminal prosecutions.

These methods, “if misapplied, could lead to innocent people being wrongly convicted,” according...

Aggregated News

The battle between sports cheats and testers is poised to enter a whole new arena. The World Anti-Doping Agency has...

Aggregated News

Tribal leaders are developing a policy for genetic research and data sharing, potentially ending a 15-year moratorium.

When the Navajo...

Trump looks with his eyes scanning to his left, as he speaks in front of a microphone.

Aggregated News

Block letters ATCG are positioned in a line, wtih one of the A letters in front, appearing to be erased.

Aggregated News

A pipette is inserted into one test tube, among several, standing upright in a test tube rack.

Aggregated News

Forensic equipment, including crime scene tape, gloves, and evidence bag.

Aggregated News