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DNA Sequencing – Not Science Fiction

August 29, 2014


So, today I’m sitting comfortably in my office, living my simple life, believing that I’m a fairly up-to-date type of a person. After all, I have constant access to the internet and every single time I open my browser, VOILIA, I find out instantly which celebrity’s marriage is on the rocks.

Why, just this very afternoon, the homepage in my browser taught me what the most dangerous intersection in the world was. It showed me an adorable baby raccoon helping itself to some water on a hot afternoon. It even gave me point by point details of how I could tell when it was time for me to purchase a new car.

But if you’re like me, you don’t stick your head deep into layers of research to investigate DNA sequencing. I mean, just the term itself sounds way too scientific and bio-technical to delve into, right?

And the truth is, if I weren’t looking something up that I thought might help me impress a potential client, I most likely wouldn’t have given it any consideration this lovely afternoon. But, I did click through a few extra layers and conduct my own little mini search and here is some of the fascinating information I discovered.

DNA Sequencing

DNA Sequencing

DNA sequencing is assisting in some pretty miraculous results for people who are inflicted with diseases or illnesses that, for the most part, would otherwise be total enigmas. But it goes beyond that. The information that is revealed through DNA sequencing is without a doubt, saving lives!

By sequencing the human genome scientists were given the ‘blueprint’ of human beings. And now, by delving deeper into this blueprint, we are learning what specific segments or sections of DNA contain.

Super Crowded Highway

Super Crowded Highway

I picture driving on a stretch of highway that is unknown at first and then, as I travel it, I am able to notice everything that lies along side. I get to see what each segment of the highway is like; where the curves are and where the straightaway is. This knowledge helps me learn how to best navigate the roadway and how to get to my destination as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Back Road - Alternate Route

Back Road – Alternate Route

In fact, if I extend myself a bit, I learn the surrounding area and find an alternate route that I can take to get me from point A to point B, just in case of a problem along a particular section of the roadway.

It pretty much works that way for scientists who learn the sequences of what gets carried in a particular segment of DNA. They are able to learn where the stretches of DNA exist and also learn how to analyze mutations, the genes the changes of the genes in sequence.

DNA Sequencing

These mutations are where diseases stem from. So, this work leads directly to new ways to work with diseases achieving rates of success in identifying specific areas where problems lie. This level of specificity opens the doors to brand new ways to combat the problems. The potential is absolutely tremendous.

Cases are being reported daily about trials and treatments for illnesses that are working where professionals had formerly given up on. And the future promises more yet to come. So, if you’re like me, give at least equal time to a bit of brushing up on the abundance of literature pouring forth about DNA sequencing and the biotech companies forging ahead in this ground-breaking work. Don’t just rely on the cutesy science-fiction type movies that show the down side of this miraculous work.
I guess the moral of the story is nothing more than the age-old philosophy of keeping an open mind until you have enough information.

Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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