States and UTs asked to step up Genome Sequencing

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Overview:

The Central government has recently asked States and Union Territories to increase genome sequencing of positive samples amid a rise in COVID cases in China, Japan, the United States, Korea and Brazil.

About Genome:

  • A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes.
  • Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism.
  • In humans, a copy of the entire genome—more than 3 billion DNA base pairs—is contained in all cells that have a nucleus.

Genome Sequencing:

  • Genome sequencing is figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome—the order of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that make up an organism's DNA.
  • The human genome is made up of over 3 billion of these genetic letters.
  • In more simple terms, Sequencing a gene is like reading a book one letter at a time to look for any spelling mistakes.
  • Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is the equivalent of running spellcheck on every volume in a library.

Applications:

  • Tackling Human Disease
  • Uncovering the secrets of our past
  • Learning about the science behind ancient medicine
  • Conserving our wildlife.

 


Q1) What is DNA?

DNA is a long molecule containing instructions for making all the proteins in our bodies. It is composed of two strands that wrap around each other forming a double helix shape. Each strand of DNA is formed of four basic building blocks or ‘bases’: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). The order, or sequence, of these bases determines our unique genetic code.

Source: Centre asks States & UTs to step-up genome sequencing as Covid cases surge globally