🖥️ Genome sequencing
As previously touched on, the genome is the entirety of genetic material carried by an individual or species and varies accordingly. The database of genomes of different species is growing and includes humans (the Human Genome Project). For example, the human genome, by chromosome, is viewable here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/?term=homo+sapiens
Simple genomes such as those of viruses can enable a relatively straightforward effort of assigning proteins to each gene in the genome, and thus creating a database of them. This is known as a proteome.
The information gleaned from a virus proteome, for example, can inform vaccination targets by selecting appropriate antigens such as elements of the viral capsid.
Other exciting synthetic biology applications can be explored such as glowing beer, synthesising specific compounds useful in medicine or manufacturing using organisms to whom that product isn’t native in an attempt to boost production or create new Products.
Analysing and storing information about more complex genomes is hindered by non-coding DNA and regulatory genes. Non-coding DNA and regulatory genes take up the vast majority of this type of genome. This means that the actual protein products that genes code for are in the minority.
The proteomes corresponding to complex genomes, human included, are therefore difficult to build. Sequencing methods themselves have witnessed, and continue to witness a rapid evolution towards faster, more efficient, automated techniques that can yield tremendous amounts of data…