Types of genomic test

Genomic testing involves looking across the genome for specific areas that might be relevant to a doctor or researcher

Genomic testing involves looking across the genome for specific areas that might be relevant to a doctor or researcher. 

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A genomic test might analyse the whole genome, or only part of it.

The most comprehensive form of genomic testing is to analyse the whole genome – all of a person's protein-coding genes, as well as the vast spaces in between genes (known as non-coding DNA). Non-coding DNA isn't used to make proteins, but it contains regions that control how and when genes are used. 

Some genomic tests only look at the parts of the genome that encode proteins – the exome. This can be a more cost effective way to analyse the parts of the genome that are most likely to be disease causing. 

Sometimes, a researcher or doctor may have a specific group of genes that they want to target – for example, a set of genes known to be associated with one genetic condition. This is known as a gene panel, and is usually the most cost effective type of genomic test.

Tags: image, genomic test, genome, exome, gene

 

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Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, July 2019. 
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