Personalized medicine. Predictive medicine. Targeted medicine. These are just some of the descriptors being applied to “genomic medicine,” a field of medical research generating much fanfare and hope for the future.
Genomics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the study of all the genes in the human genome – that double-stranded DNA helix that defines who we are and what we’re made of. Building on classical genetics, it focuses on gene variations, the genetic code we inherit, the environment we live in, and the range of diseases we develop.
The promise of genomics is huge. It could someday help us maximize personal health and discover the best medical care for any condition. It could help in the development of new therapies that alter the human genome and prevent (or even reverse) complications from the diseases we inherit.