DNA vs. Genome what’s the diff?
DNA vs Genome; what’s the Diff?
DNA vs. genome what’s the diff?

Why does Artist, the hero in “We Want Our Genome Story,” use the word “genome” rather than “DNA”? She makes a point of it. So “DNA vs. genome what’s the diff?”

There’s a big difference. Your genome is all of your DNA. 

Genes are made up of DNA. A genome is the sum total of an organism’s DNA. It’s the inherited information all organisms use to make and maintain themselves.

DNA molecules are inside your cells* in two places; the nucleus and mitochondria. In the nucleus, long strands of DNA are wound tightly into 46 chromosomes. Shorter pieces are in mitochondria, an organelle in the cytoplasm of the cell. When Artist talks about your genome, this is what she means:

nuclear DNA + mitochondria DNA = Your Genome

Did you know? Consumer companies, such as 23andMe, read just a fraction of your DNA. To get your full Genome Story, ask for a whole-genome sequence (WGS). The technology sequences all the ATCGs on your chromosomes and the DNA in mitochondria.

Sequencing all the ATCGs includes reading the protein-coding and non-coding genes. And all of the data in the non-coding regions (dark zones). Long-read sequencing such as nanopore technology is an example of the process that provides all of your genomic data.  

Why whole-genome sequencing? WGS can identify genetic variants for rare conditions that other methods fail to find. When considering treatment options, WGS can find sensitivity or resistance to specific drugs, helping physicians select the best meds. As whole-genome sequencing moves into everyday practice, precision medicine will be made just-for-you.

“WGS will replace all genetic tests because it is all genetic tests and much, much more.”— Rodrigo Martinez, Veritas Genetics

Saying “genome” rather than “DNA” shows that you’re hip to the “diff” — the value of having all your data instead of just some. Knowing the difference is being aware of what’s on the horizon — the potential and possibilities of the Genomic Revolution.

Got two minutes? The talented writers and animators at Health Education England explain how the parts of our genome fit together in these three, short and smart videos: 

Go here for more about the Deoxyribonucleic Acid molecule. This animation shows the relationship of genes to genomes. Are you curious about high-tech, next-gen WGS? Whole-genome sequencing imagines the possibilities for advancing precision medicine when we have our whole-genome data. Watch this video explaining what it’s all about.

*Not every cell contains DNA. Red blood cells and cells in the skin, hair, and nails do not have a nucleus, so no DNA.

The image at the top shows our genome as a colorful garden of variation. The four chemicals that make up the base pairs, Adenine and Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine, sit on stem-like strands of DNA like flowers.