More than fifty years ago François Jacob and Jacques Monod published in The Journal of Molecular Biology an article presenting the discovery of the first genetic regulation system of protein synthesis called the “operon” system.
Inspired by André Lwoff who was leading the Department of Bacterial Physiology at the Pasteur Institute, the three researchers determined from their experiments a revolutionary scientific concept that would lay the foundation for all of contemporary molecular biology.
André Lwoff represented microbiology, Jacques Monod biochemistry, and François Jacob cellular genetics. Together they introduced new dimensions in cellular genetics and molecular biology.
In 1965, they were awarded with the Nobel Prize of Medicine for their discovery concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.
When James Watson and Francis Crick deciphered the structure of DNA in 1953, they answered a crucial question in biology: how is genetic information passed down from parent to offspring.
Their discovery showed that every single cell of an organism contains all the genetic material of the organism they belong to.
How, then, does an individual cell know which genes to use and when? And how does information from DNA get to the cell’s protein system?
The fundamental insight into these questions came from the three biologists at the Pasteur Institute in Paris: Jacob, Monod and Lwoff.
They identified messenger RNA which, as the name implies, carries the blueprint for a protein from cellular DNA to the ribosome, where proteins are built. They have also discovered that our genes are not expressed consistently over time, but they are regulated, that is to say activated or restrained very finely depending on the needs of our body.
The three French scientists opened up a field of research in which biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics closely intertwine. All three branches are different ways to understand how cells and their components work.
Since then, the study of genetic regulation and dysfunction responsible for numerous diseases is a major focus of biological research.
With the introduction of bioinformatics, genetic engineering and other techniques, the past decade has allowed scientists to measure, analyze and manipulate genetic material rapidly and easily.
Furthermore, new technologies have contributed to the dramatic acceleration in our capacity to investigate the genetic components of disease which has a major impact on clinical medicine.
As a matter of fact, medical genetics seeks to explain how genetic variation relates to human health and disease.
The availability of a complete human genome sequence has conducted to the identification of various genes as well as improving our understanding of gene expression, its regulation and how these factors interact in genetic disorders.
Genetic disorders are caused by mutations that make a gene function improperly. Some of these can lead to cancer, while others lead to various other health conditions.
Cancer is a serious disease due to deleterious mutation in specific genes that induces the cells to grow in a non controlled and abnormal manner. Breast cancer is the most lethal malignancy in women across the world.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are the most significant risk factors for ovarian and breast cancer. These two genes (BRCA 1 and 2) were first identified in the early 1990s by Professor of Medical Genetics and Genome Sciences Dr. Mary-Claire King who advocates for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic screening for every woman from the age of 30 as a part of routine medical care.
Early detection means effective prevention.
Serenity is Genoma’s exclusive next generation screening test: non-invasive, it detects the entire BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and all pathogenic variants with a risk-free buccal swab for DNA collection.
Genoma tests bring to the people the genetic information related to their own health enabling them to adopt a proactive approach towards health-related decisions