The Health Care Sector – Capitalising on the Promise of Genetic Science

It has been over 60 years since James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA, the precious molecule that contains our genetic code, and a tremendous amount of progress has been made since then in our understanding of how our cells operate, communicate with each other, pass on traits to future generations, and even how they get sick.  However, it has only been fairly recently that this landmark discovery and the specialisms it created – genetics, genomics, proteomics – have allowed for large scale advances in real-world healthcare. 

The turning point came in 2003 when the Human Genome Project, an international scientific research endeavour which ran from 1990 to 2003, released its completed map of the human genome – nearly all of the genetic material held in the DNA of a human’s 22 chromosomes was sequenced and presented for the first time.  Given that a genome is the summation of the DNA held within an individual, it can act as a vital source of information in terms of the likelihood that individual will suffer from particular diseases or succumb to specific lifestyle conditions.