Genomics is the study of all of a person’s genes (“the genome”). This includes knowing how different genes interact with each other and with a person’s environment. Genomics is used in medicine to understand how all those genes in the genome work to cause, change or prevent human disease.
Many people are confused between the terms “genomics” and “genetics” because these terms are often used interchangeably in health care. Genetics is the study of how traits and/or diseases run in a family. Genetics may focus on a single gene or group of genes, to see how changes (variants) in those genes cause a certain trait or disease in a family.
Genetics and genomics come together in genomic medicine, a branch of health care that focuses on carefully studying a person’s genome or DNA to make changes to improve that person’s health. Genomic medicine specialists at Genome Medical, such as genetic counselors, can help individuals benefit from genomic medicine as part of a genetic counseling consultation.