Genomics

Genomics involves measuring everything about a genome and the changes between genomes.  The genome consists of all the nucleic acid inside of a cell.  This includes all the chromosomal DNA and, if an organism is a eukaryote, this includes chromosomes from both the mitochondria and the nucleus.  Commonly used techniques in genomics are DNA sequencing, microarrays, and PCR.  

Genomics is becoming increasingly used in medicine to help diagnose disease since an individual's DNA sequence can provide insights into the potential for developing specific diseases. 

Genomics is one of many "-omics" disciplines that is becoming more prominent in biotechnology and research as a whole, alongside proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, exomics, and others. Novel discoveries in this field often track closely with innovations in the technologies available to conduct analysis and perform sequencing or assays. In each case, "-omics" approaches allow for study of biological systems from a holistic standpoint, and findings can motivate directed research on specific genes or pathways.

Related job areas: 

Related Articles: 

The requirements of "good communication skills" and "comfortable working in a multidisciplinary setting" on a biotech job listing are common, but what do these mean in practice? For work in biotech, there's often more than meets the eye in a job posting.

Biotechnology is an inherently ... Read more

The biotech industry is booming. Some reservations notwithstanding, influxes of venture capital reflect economic robustness in the biotech market, and the recent pledge of funds for personalized (or "precision") medical research by the Obama administration reflect widespread public interest in ... Read more

Related Careers: 

Genomics technicians use a range of technologies related to determining and comparing DNA and RNA sequences.  They isolate RNA and DNA from samples.  They construct libraries, perform quality control, carry out titrations, and work with a variety of microarray, PCR, and DNA sequencing ... Read more

They work on experiments and procedures in research on projects and products that could cure disease, improve crops, help clean up the environment, and detect contaminated food.  There may be some routine work but the possibilities for a variety of tasks and independent thinking are huge if the ... Read more

Related Photo Journals: 

Cagney Coomer has been working as a sequencing technician at the University of Kentucky Advanced Genetic Technologies Center (AGTC).  We asked Cagney about her work and her training.

What biotechnology program did you attend?

Biotechnology at ... Read more

Milana Cypert, Research Associate at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), describes her work and shares a typical day.Read more

Suchitra Ramani, Research Associate at Bioo Scientific Corp. describes her work and shares a typical day.Read more

Related Videos: 

At an NBC2 program Mary Goyette explained her role as a Technical Research Associate analyzing quantitative data sets. She talks about her work in collaborations with MGH, Harvard and MIT on genotype research, including focused projects on cholera and cardiovascular medicine.

  ... Read more

Learn about pathways to a career in the lab.  We visit Research Methods in Molecular Biology to learn what molecular biology in a company may involve and the skills that are used.  

We thank ATETV for permission to use this video.Read more

Learn how PCR has been used to solve crimes.

We thank the NCBioNetwork for permission to use this video.Read more