Gene Sequencing

Term:

Gene Sequencing (also known as DNA Sequencing)

Description:

Gene sequencing is the process in which the complete order of bases that make up a gene is determined. DNA contains four base pairs, adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine which form together to make a sequence of amino acids. The order of the amino acids determines the gene it codes for. The ability to sequence genes has improved through the years. The first method was discovered in the mid-1970's that allowed scientists to sequence just a few base pairs in a year. However, today, due to technology, labs have the ability to sequence individual genes daily and over 100 million base pairs a year. By sequencing genes, scientists are given valuable information to aid them in the discover of treatments, the process of gene formation, and insights into cloning of organisms. In 1977,Phage Φ-X174 (5368 base pairs) was sequenced by Fred Sanger. Following Phage Φ-X174, various bacteria, archaea, and viruses have been sequenced.

In 2000, the first draft of the human genome was published. The main goal of the project was to identify, in full, all the genes that make up human DNA. In 2003, the project was complete and it succeeded in its goal of identifying all the 20,000 - 25,000 human genes. This research was gathered in the hopes of eventually being able to data mine the research to discover patterns that could predict illness and many other characteristics seen amongst humans that share similar DNA strands. In addition, these findings could lead to other benifits such as orgran growing and/or cloning of humans. The aspect could allow for humans to make duplicates of all organs from birth. This would allow for prolonged life as well as serve the globe as a whole. The long waiting lists for organs today can become a thing of the past.

Applications:

  • Lead to new medical treatments and drugs.
  • Better understanding of what makes up a living organism.
  • Cloning possibilities
  • Need for more advanced technology to spend up the process of sequencing.
  • Possibility of having each patient's individual genome sequenced
  • Lead to better treatments by knowing genetic defects of patients


Web Resources:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_sequencing
http://seqcore.brcf.med.umich.edu/doc/educ/dnapr/sequencing.html
http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/D/DNAsequencing.html
http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/faq/seqfacts.shtml

http://www.genome.gov/10001177
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?d
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/genome/sequencer


Related Terminology:

Human Gene Terminology
Human Genome Project
RT-PCR Procedure

Citations/References

National Human Genome Research Institute www.genome.gov
U.S. Department of Energy Genome Projects http://genomics.energy.gov

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