Genomics: Dawn of the Century of Biology

Credits: Unsplash

What is Genomics?

Gene Editing & CRISPR

Applications of Gene Editing

  • Gene Editing in Animals — Through gene editing, scientists have performed successfully in reducing the extent of deafness in mice, suggesting that human applications are imminent or possible. Similarly, gene editing has been used to curb mastitis i.e. the most prominent disease in dairy cows. Scientific studies have also showcased increased Tuberculosis resistance in cattle.
  • Making Crops More Nutritious & Stronger — A fascinating application is editing crop genes to make species of a plant more resistant to a variety of things from bacteria, excess heat or cold and even pests. This would significantly help ameliorate some of the effects of climate change on crops. Further, crops can also be made more nutritious or healthier. From enhancing the disease resistance of tomatoes to stress and virus resistance in potatoes, there have been successful applications, particularly in the agriculture space. Targeting genes that cause limiting yield in rice, helped showcase an increase in yield.
  • Developing Stronger Tools — At the moment, a looming concern is that there is a constant challenge to keep producing effective antibiotics as bacteria become more resistant. Gene editing tools such as CRISPR can help eliminate these bacteria completely and precisely. Although this is still under research.
  • Eradicate or Re-introduce Entire Species — The far-fetched applications can also be bringing back once-extinct species into existence through gene editing and manipulation. Or even, eradicate some deleterious vectors of pathogens such as mosquitos! This is through a concept called — gene drive, which works on the fundamental idea that there’s a 50% chance of an organism passing on its gene to its offspring. Through CRISPR gene editing, scientists can try and ensure that only a specific gene gets passed on to the offspring.

Genomics Market Trends

Major Global Players

India’s Need For Genomics

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