Understanding the Blueprint for Life

What is a genome?

A genome is all of the genetic material within an organism’s DNA—basically a blueprint for life providing the structure and function of all living things.

What is genomics?

Genomics is the science that aims to decipher and understand the entire genetic information of an organism (i.e. plants, animals, humans, viruses and microorganisms) encoded in DNA and corresponding complements such as RNA, proteins and metabolites.

Broadly speaking, this definition includes related disciplines such as bioinformatics, epigenomics, metabolomics, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, proteomics and transcriptomics.

The knowledge and innovations emerging from this field are finding solutions to complex biological challenges including applications for health, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, mining energy and agrifoods, while at the same time raising question of societal and economic importance.

Genomics uses a lot of jargon that can be hard to understand for those not trained in the field. Our simple glossary has definitions for important or frequently encountered concepts in genomics.