Both genomics and genetics are playing crucial roles in the healthcare world and how we treat disease. There are very particular differences between the two. There are also varying reasons why they are so crucial for health care going forward.
Genetics refers to the study of genes and their specific roles when it comes to inheritance or the traits that get passed down through generations. Genetics involves studies of those genes and what their impacts are, such as passing the “instructions” throughout the body to make proteins, activating cells, and more.
Genomics describes the studies of all the genes within the body as well as how they interact with each other and the person’s environment. Genomics also includes the study of complex diseases. Genomics offers greater possibilities when treating those complex diseases.
Why They Are Important
Genetics is becoming important for giving families and individuals a better idea about the conditions that get passed down genetically. Diseases such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, for instance, can be learned about through genetics.
Furthermore, genetics help us develop possible treatments for those genetic conditions. It could mean being able to treat these diseases before they “activate” in a person or before they become a major detriment to our health.
Genomics, meanwhile, gives us a better idea of why we get sick from certain environmental behaviors or infections. It also gives us an idea of why people who lead healthy lifestyles pass away far sooner but those who are the epitome of unhealthy can live to be 100.
Why They Are Important to Family Health
Being able to obtain a greater understanding of the impact of a single gene as well as the diseases that come from multiple genes can help provide major benefits. It could mean earlier diagnoses, targeted treatments, and interventions that can lead to improved quality of life or even a cure.
Much of our health is based on family history as well as shared environmental factors. Through genetics and genomics, we can learn more about those factors and how they could impact our health.