What is the human genome? - ADNTRO

What is the human genome?

The human genome it's ours Genetic information taken as a whole. They are the 3.2 billion "letters" that make up our DNA. From the 22,000 genes that we have in our body to the mitochondrial DNA passing through the regulatory regions of the expression of those genes to proteins (effector biomolecules of our organism). The Mitochondrial DNA It is inherited from our mother (16,000 bases), it is small and circular and encompasses the genetic information of the mitochondria, essential cellular organelles where the energy necessary for our body to function properly is produced.

How the human genome is structured

It is structured in 23 chromosomes, an ultra-condensed form of DNA. Thanks to the way in which DNA is stored, each of the small human cells, whose diameter is 6 * 10-6 meters, is capable of housing the entire genome. This may not sound very impressive, but if we linearly expand the genome, it would be equivalent to two meters long.

Multiplying these 2 meters of DNA contained in each human cell by the average number of cells in a human being (10 billion), it is estimated that our organism contains a total of 20 billion meters of DNA. Yes, as you read it. You have 20 billion meters of genetic information inside you, which is equivalent to 600 round trips from the Earth to the Sun. Incredible, isn't it?

If we go back to the technical and descriptive part, we find different types of regions that make up the genome. Coding regions (the exome - 1% of the genome) and non-coding regulatory regions. What does this mean? Of all these "letters", only 1% end up being expressed in proteins (functional elements of our body). However, this process is so complex that we need other regions of the genome to regulate its expression and to do it differently depending on the type of cell we are in (skin cell, liver cell...) - Click here if you want to know more about the components involved in protein synthesis.

What is the Human Genome Project?

In 2001 a project called the Human Genome Project was launched, which made it possible to sequence (know the information) of the human genome for the very first time. The most striking aspect of this project is not "only" the novelty and the Advance in knowledge that allowed us to carry it out, but the fact that it took almost 10 years and 100 million dollars to undertake it Today,thanks to the progress of science and new technologies, you can obtain your genome information for approximately 1000 euros making it increasingly more affordable to have access to your genetic information and all the advantage that this entails. If you are interested in knowing all the information that your genome contains, click here.

Figure 1: Human Genome sequencing cost reduction.

Although the Human Genome Project is the best known, it is not the only project that revolves around the Human Genome. The 1000 Genomes Project made it possible to obtain a database with individuals from different regions, allowing to study the genetic variability among human beings. We also want to highlight the ENCODE Project (acronym of ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements), which made it possible to assign biochemical functions to 80% of the genome, also providing new knowledge on the organization and regulation of genes and the genome, knowledge that plays a key role on the study of human biology and diseases.

If you liked this post, we leave you 2 related posts that may be of interest to you:

The types of RNA

The arrival of genomic medicine thanks to mass sequencing (NGS)

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