How Genome Sequencing can Help Understand and Treat Diseases

Many diseases are caused by mutations in the DNA. In order to understand these diseases, it is necessary to understand the human genome. Janssen Research & Development has been working with the human genome in order to better understand, identify, and treat genetic diseases. Through a few key partnerships, namely the UK Biobank Whole Genome Sequencing Project, they have been taking steps towards understanding diseases and their relationships to human DNA. The hope is that this research will allow medical professionals to find people who are predisposed to certain diseases, help to prevent these conditions, and create effective treatments.

About Janssen’s Research

Janssen Research & Development is accomplishing this research through the use of the largest genome sequencing project in the world. Over 500,000 people donated DNA along with their medical records. They began collecting the samples in September and are already ahead of schedule. They believe that the data they collect and the conclusions they draw will be available to the entire world by 2023.

The goal of this research is to discover the ‘driver’ genes. They would like to identify which parts of the DNA are responsible for various diseases, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. If they are able to find the reasons for certain diseases, they can then begin to work on treatments. As of now, for diseases that are not yet fully understood, treatments are symptomatic. Once medical professionals comprehend the cause, they can treat the disease at its source. The result will hopefully be more effective medications and therapies.

Janssen’s Partnerships

Janssen Research & Development has also been working with the University of Utah Health, as they have comprised a database of the DNA of Utah’s local residents for more than 50 years. People from Utah tend to remain there, making it a perfect place to study the genes of generations of families. The data collected from this database has helped to improve the knowledge of colon cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, and cardiac arrhythmia.

The partnership between these two organizations was created to study three diseases, one of them being juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Along with diseases, they are also looking for genes that may increase one’s chance of committing suicide. Evidence suggests that there is a genetic component that plays a role in this decision.

Janssen and all of its partners hope that their research will improve the lives of those living with diseases and improve the medical world as a whole.

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