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Report: Homeownership Is A Precondition Of The American Dream

DNA Day is April 25, and 2019 marks sixteen years since the Human Genome Project completed its work sequencing the human genome. This important scientific work set the stage for today’s era of precision medicine and for companies like OneOme. But the Human Genome Project was just one of the more visible undertakings in the world of genomics. Understanding DNA – human or not – moves science and technology forward and produces wonders like the cloned sheep Dolly as well as valuable work on vaccines for diseases like Ebola.

Like much of today’s technology, our understanding of genomics has a deep and fascinating back story.

Back to basics

Before we get into the true history of genomics, let’s take a brief trip to high school biology and review the fundamentals. A genome is the complete set of an organism’s DNA, which is comprised of thousands of individual genes. These genes form the instruction manual for each person, plant, or other lifeform. DNA makes individuals unique, but it’s also what makes us similar. We share 99.9% of our DNA with every other human on the planet, but that still amounts to 3 million points of differentiation between individuals. In other words, the human genome is hugely complex and contains secrets and information we’ve only begun to uncover.

The foundation of genetic science (1850-1900)

We’ll start our brief tour through the history of genomics in the mid-19th century, with Gregor Mendel. Lauded by high school biology teachers the world over, Mendel’s experimentation in selective breeding of pea plants helped uncover the nature of inheritance through observing specific traits over numerous generations. Other advances in the 19th century include Friedrich Miescher’s discovery of DNA (then called “nuclein”), and Charles Darwin’s theory of pass wealth down to children or family.

Millennials are 29% more likely than baby boomers to see a home as an achievement that reflects hard work–an outcome we expected given that many millennials are still working hard to afford their first homes.


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