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Genome-Sequencing Technology UPSC NOTE


What is Genome-sequencing technology?

  • Genome sequencing is the process that involves deciphering the exact order of base pairs in an individual. 

  • This “deciphering” or reading of the genome is what sequencing is all about. 

  • Costs of sequencing differ based on the methods employed to do the reading or the accuracy stressed upon in decoding the genome.

  • Genomic information has been instrumental in identifying inherited disorders, characterizing the mutations that drive cancer progression, and tracking disease outbreaks.

  • It is beneficial for sequencing agriculturally important livestock, plants, or disease-related microbes.

How genome sequences tracked down ancient disease?

  • The advent of genome-sequencing technologies has allowed scientists to trace the trail of infectious diseases that ailed people in prehistoric times. 

  • This is possible in particular due to deep-sequencing of genetic material isolated from well-preserved human remains, with the help of advanced computational analysis.

  • Deep-sequencing involves sequencing the genomic material multiple times to retrieve even small amounts of DNA, since the material is likely to degrade over time.

  • Scientists have also traced the prehistoric trail of many major human pathogens in recent years, providing an unparalleled view of the evolution and adaptation of human pathogens.

Benefits of Genome-Sequencing Technology

  • Its applications are increasingly enabling fast, efficient diagnosis of outbreaks, in routine clinical settings.

  • Quickly replacing the traditional approaches in microbiology.

  • It can contribute to identification and molecular characterisation, and open windows into virulence, 

  • Antimicrobial and antibody resistance, 

  • Clues into the evolution, adaptation, 

  • Introduction of species in new settings.

What is the ‘Black Death’?

  • The ‘Black Death’, or the Great Plague, of the 14th century was one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.

  • This infectious disease outbreaks had a severe impact on society, economy and culture.

  • The ‘Black Death’ is believed to have killed more than 25 million people in Europe and possibly up to 40-50% of the population in some of the continent’s major cities.

  • The ‘Black Death’ was caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, which infects mammals.

  • This bacterium’s discovery has been attributed separately to Alexandre Yersin, a Swiss-French physician, and Kitasato Shibasaburō, a Japanese physician and microbiologist during the plague outbreak in Hong Kong in 1894.

  • Infected through:

    • Humans typically get infected through fleas  or 

    • through close handling/contact with an infected human or animal.

  • One possible reason for the humongous proportions of the ‘Black Death’ outbreak is the human-to-human transmission of the bacteria.

  • After the discovery of antibiotics, in fact, its modern mortality is quite small.

India and Plague

  • In 1896 in Bombay.

  • Karnataka (1966)

  • Surat (1994)

  • Isolated outbreak (2004) in a village in Uttarakhand. 

  • The plague vaccine was developed by Waldemar Haffkine in 1897 during the outbreaks in Bombay.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Genome-Sequencing Technology UPSC NOTE
Genome-Sequencing Technology UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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