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Genomics makes way for precision medicine to treat cancer and diagnose rare genetic conditions

Genome sequencing is driving innovative advances that will change human health across the world. Translation of academic research projects into clinical settings is already transforming detection and treatment of cancer and helping find answers for families with children having undiagnosed rare genetic disorders.

Watson and Crick developed the double helix structure of DNA in 1953, working from data generated by Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins. From here incremental developments in sequencing technology led to the conceptualisation of the Human Genome Project in 1987. Formally the initiative began in 1990 and was announced finished in April 2003. This first effort costed over $2.7 billion and the then President Bill Clinton describes it as “without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.” The presidential vision at that point of time was that “in coming years, doctors will increasingly be able to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and cancer by attacking their genetic roots.”

While we haven’t quite cured cancer in the last 15 years however since then researchers across the world have made significant progress in terms of addressing tumour progression in cancer via targeted therapies also known as precision medicine. This has led …

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