DNA Sequencing

DNA sequencing is the process of determining the nucleotide sequence of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA is made up of four chemical building blocks – called “bases” – adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine. It involves determining the sequence of these bases which encodes the biological information that cells use to develop and operate.The nucleotide sequence is the most fundamental level of knowledge of a gene or genome. It is the blueprint that contains the instructions for building an organism. Human genome contains about 3 billion base pairs that spell out the instructions for making and maintaining a human being.

DNA Sequencing. In terms of information, DNA is like printed text. There is a method of storing the data (the printed word), a language to learn, and a process of understanding the meaning of what has been written. DNA sequencing is a process of reading. In the past, few people could read, most were illiterate. The expansion of literacy has meant that written information is accessible to a large group of people for interpretation, study, and communication. Advances in technology in our more recent history have had a similar effect on the human genome. Reading DNA through DNA sequencing has expanded access to the information in our genomes. The ongoing challenge going forward will be to expand understanding about what this information means for our health.

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