5% of COVID-19 cases to be tested for genome sequence

• It is being done to map the mutations emerging in SARS-Cov-2 strain (virus that causes COVID-19) in the country.


• Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also established Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) for laboratory and epidemiological surveillance of circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2.

• Also, Centre has identified 10 advanced regional laboratories to serve as regional hub laboratories for genome sequencing.

• Genome is an organism’s complete set of DNAs, including all of its genes. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism.

• Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome-order of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that make up an organism’s DNA.

• The human genome is made up of over 3 billion of these genetic letters.

WGS helps in:

• Identifying genomic causes of rare disease, understanding variation in complex disease.

• Improving the understanding of how virus spreads and evolves.

• Identifying genetic mutations and how these mutations impact gene functions.


Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech

Prelims level: Whole genome sequencing

Mains level: Significance of the whole genome sequencing

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