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What is genomics?

Genomics refers to the study of all of the genetic material in an organism. Every cell within the body contains the complete genome, or all of the DNA of the organism.

How many genes are in the human genome?

With research from the Human Genome Project, it is estimated that there are 20,000 to 25,000 genes in the human genome.

What is the Human Genome Project?

The Human Genome Project took place between 1990-2003. The purpose of this collaborative project was to understand and completely map out the 3 billion base pairs that exist in human DNA. In addition to identifying the complete human genome and the base pairs, the project also aimed to improve data storage and analysis, as well as address any issues related to ethics, legality, and social challenges.

What is genome sequencing?

A genome sequence is the order of the base pairs that make up the DNA of an organism. Genome sequencing means determining this order. The base pair order can be used for multiple purposes, including telling us where genes exist compared with regulatory information, and where changes in a gene occurred that may impact disease development.

What is the benefit of mapping the human genome?

The data from the Human Genome Project has allowed scientists to conduct genome-wide association studies, a type of study that looks at genetic variation and how it relates to common diseases. The sequencing of the human genome has improved the understanding of human biology, enhanced medical research, and gives new opportunities for prevention and treatment efforts for certain diseases and conditions.

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Photo of Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson

Medically reviewed by:

Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson, Ph.D., RD

Kristin is an RDN who also earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Arizona State University with an emphasis on insulin resistance, lipid metabolism disorders, and obesity. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Mayo Clinic where she focused on nutrition-related proteomic and metabolic research. Her interests include understanding the exact mechanism of action of various genetic variations underlying individual predispositions to nutrition-related health outcomes. Her goal is to help all individuals prevent chronic diseases and achieve long, healthy lives through eating well.

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