Improving Human Health at the Forefront of Genomics
Understanding the nature of human diseases and the possibilities of the most effective treatment strategies remains to be one of the priorities in today’s medicine, health care, and genomics. According to Green et al. (2020, p. 683), the results of the human genome research conducted by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) during the last 30 years are convincing and promising. Relying on the discoveries about the human genome structure and functions, society is now more than ready to accept a new organizational mantra, “The Forefront of Genomics” (Green et al., 2020, p. 684). The article under analysis consists of five main parts that explain the idea of improving human health. First, the discussion of a pioneering journey in the field of genomics is developed to show the basis for a new study. Then, attention is paid to the principles promoted by “The Forefront of Genomics” initiatives. The current foundation for genomics is important to comprehend what people know about genomes at the moment. Finally, it is necessary to clarify the existing barriers in the field and define the programs to deal with challenges.
At the beginning of the 1990s, a group of international researchers initiated the first well-known Human Genome Project. Multiple purposes were set to comprehend the basics of human genomes and apply their findings to medicine and health care. The initial steps in the generation of genome sequences and functional complexities were taken to find new ways of analysis of cancer and rare pediatric disorders (Green et al., 2020, p. 683). Helpful genomic catalogs were formulated, and genomic advances, as well as other NHGRI contributions, became frequently recognized in biomedical studies.
It was expected that scientists identify new principles in genomics, and the outcome was the integration of new principles and values for human genomics, known as “The Forefront of Genomics.” Future research is now based on such tasks as using genomics to understand human health, encouraging global diversity, relying on a diverse workforce, providing innovative research frameworks, embracing interdisciplinary teams, and advancing genomics worldwide. The message that has to be delivered is that not only scientific research but also education and cooperation are necessary.
Regarding the fact that genomics turns out to be broadly used in different areas, the authors of the article decide to focus on the main aspects of this scientific approach. First, people should know genome structure and functions to gather, analyze, and integrate complex genomic data. The establishment of genomic data science is an expected outcome as it allows sharing of the already made findings and the development of new methods of research. Society needs to understand how genomics may influence their lives, and genomics courses promote genomic literacy and informed decision-making. Therefore, the genomic workforce plays a crucial role as it creates a solid background for the next generations and educates healthcare providers.
Despite the intention to remove misunderstandings, some barriers cannot be neglected. “The Forefront of Genomics” is still challenged by complex laboratory technologies, unclear biological insights (intraindividual genomic variations), and implementation science where new public health approaches are tested. To find effective solutions and support international scientific teams, additional research projects and programs are constantly developed. Basic genomic research is improved by means of technological innovations and interesting biological hypotheses. The genomic learning healthcare system uses and analyzes data to study genes’ relationships and the peculiarities of ancestral populations.
In general, the Human Genome Project was a significant shift in health care and medicine. However, the possibilities that became available since that research are impressive, and the introduction of The Forefront of Genomics” is the main evidence. Today, the problem of COVID-19 impact confused even the most intelligent scientists because it is still hard to find a solution and treat this condition. The application of genomics findings may be the element that humankind needs.
Green, E. D. et al. (2020) ‘Strategic vision for improving human health at the forefront of genomics’, Nature, 586(7831), pp.683-692.