Informational Foundations Of Modern Genetics

The informational foundations of modern genetics were established during the 1960s and 1970s. Early in this period, the genetic code was deciphered as were the rules by which cells read the information encoded in the gene. A flood of new gene discoveries, the development of new approaches to the discovery and scoring of drug susceptibility loci, and advances in pharmacogenomics and toxicogenomic strategies to facilitate drug discovery and development that followed in short order have continued to the present. Technical advances, described briefly below and more extensively in Chapter 7 and charted in Table 1.2, led the way in transforming the nature of biomedical research, and greatly increased the pace and scope of investigation.

Beginning in 1975, a variety of techniques were invented for sequencing and scanning or scoring all manner of lesions in DNA relevant to human disease and pharmacogenetics. In 1979, a consensus was reached and an award was made enabling the creation of an international database for the collection, storage, and

Table 1.2 Charting the Evolution of Genomics Tools

Southern blots

Sanger sequencing ae

Northern blots 2

RFLPs

Conventional DNA technologies

DNA fingerprinting

Dot blots, slot blots ^

Reverse blots o\

GenBank established

Computational biology

FASTA developed

NCBI established

BLAST developed

PHRED/PHRAP/CON-SET m developed e o\

First automated sequencer commercialized o\ o\

First CE sequencer

Automated DNA sequencing

Yeast genome sequenced M Human genome project Worm genome sequenced begins Fruit fly genome sequenced

Human genome draft complete

Yeast genome sequenced M Human genome project Worm genome sequenced begins Fruit fly genome sequenced

Human genome draft complete

<S\

Microarray analysis applied to DNA

o

Genome-wide DNA analysis

Genomic DNA analysis

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