Human genome sequencing in health and disease

Annu Rev Med. 2012;63:35-61. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-051010-162644.

Abstract

Following the "finished," euchromatic, haploid human reference genome sequence, the rapid development of novel, faster, and cheaper sequencing technologies is making possible the era of personalized human genomics. Personal diploid human genome sequences have been generated, and each has contributed to our better understanding of variation in the human genome. We have consequently begun to appreciate the vastness of individual genetic variation from single nucleotide to structural variants. Translation of genome-scale variation into medically useful information is, however, in its infancy. This review summarizes the initial steps undertaken in clinical implementation of personal genome information, and describes the application of whole-genome and exome sequencing to identify the cause of genetic diseases and to suggest adjuvant therapies. Better analysis tools and a deeper understanding of the biology of our genome are necessary in order to decipher, interpret, and optimize clinical utility of what the variation in the human genome can teach us. Personal genome sequencing may eventually become an instrument of common medical practice, providing information that assists in the formulation of a differential diagnosis. We outline herein some of the remaining challenges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / diagnosis
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics*
  • Genetic Privacy*
  • Genome, Human / genetics*
  • HapMap Project*
  • Human Genome Project*
  • Humans