HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Genomics, or the study of our DNA, is a field that is continuing to make strides. The human body is complex and amazing, and while some things are still a mystery to us, we are constantly unpacking the genetic code that runs it.
Researchers and doctors met at Hudson Alpha's second genomic medicine conference, staying on the cutting edge of what that code continues to deliver.
"What genomics does, is it allows us to match treatment interventions to individuals based upon their genetic makeup," said Dr. Tom May, Faculty Research Investigator of the Ethics and Genomics Program.
They met here in Research Park to tie the use of genomics to traditional medical care. "Everyone knows that genomics is going to be the key to improving medicine, lowering costs, but it's hard. And so, a lot of things to overcome in the system, the reimbursement issues, convince the physicians how to interpret it and provide that information," said Jim Hudson, co-founder of Hudson Alpha.
Companies displayed their research and technology, like a machine that quantitates DNA for genetic expression and genotyping experiments.
Doctor Nancy Cox of Vanderbilt University, spoke about the benefits genomics has when diagnosing types of cancer, bipolar disorder, sepsis and more.
The use of genetic technologies can also fill in the gaps of family health history for people who are adopted, giving physicians a tool for preventative care and diagnosis.
"It's been described as providing missing links, and missing pieces of information in their lives and then passing it along to their children," said May.
There's still much to learn, but researchers will continue to crack the code.