Three Technologies that are Transforming Medicine

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Biomedical science is capitalizing on various advances in tools to explore and manipulate genomes

These days, it doesn’t take a rocket — or genome — scientist to recognize that our capacity for exploring genomes is at an all-time high. In laboratories here at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and across the world, ever-powerful machines churn out endless strings of genetic information; increasingly precise tools home in on specific spots in the genetic code and can even make corrections; and robust analytical methods help make sense of a morass of data. Propelled by these capabilities, scientists are uncovering clues within our DNA that shed light on the mysteries of biology and help unravel the complexities of disease.

Behind the scenes, technologies that fuel this mind-bending pace of discovery are buzzing and humming away. Three methods in particular are worthy of notice: high-throughput genome sequencing, CRISPR, and single-cell genomics. Here, we offer a brief primer on these approaches, describing how they emerged, how they work, and how they are transforming biology and medicine.

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