From Genetic Counselling, Ethics, Nursing, Society

Oxford Biology Primer Series

Jonathan Roberts wrote a chapter for the book Genomics from the Oxford Biology Primer Series entitled Chapter 3: Genomes and Ethics

Oxford Biology Primer Series

1st May 2020

This Oxford Biology Primer will introduce students to the field of genomics and its applications. From the early days of the Human Genome Project, sequencing technology has rapidly developed and is now cheaper and more accessible than ever before. The resulting pervasive nature of these technologies make them more likely to be experienced by people as patients, consumers and citizens.

The primer introduces the basic principles of genomics and then uses these to consider human genetics, through examples of some of the rare diseases linked to single genes. The impact of these rare diseases is far-reaching and the knowledge gained through genome sequencing is proving invaluable in their diagnosis.

Genome sequencing is revolutionising the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and the primer introduces students to some of the key breakthroughs which have taken place in recent years. These include the identification of specific genes indicating cancer risk, and the sequencing of tumours throughout treatment to identify further mutations and modify treatment accordingly.

Related Link:


Parkhill J, Lindsay SJ, Jones P... Roberts J, et al (2020) Oxford Biology Primers: Genomics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 47-64