Feature: Genome BC

Ever heard of the Human Genome Project? Completed in 2003, the purpose of the project was to produce a whole sequence of the human genome. This project allowed researchers to further understand our body. The final result took 13 years and $2.7 billion.

A genome: the “blueprint” for an organism – why organisms are what they are. Every living thing has DNA, and genomics is the study of the structure, function, and mapping of genomes.

Genome BC is a non-profit research organization. Since 2000, Genome BC has provided research in areas such as agriculture, forest, mining, and health. They invest in projects that improve the way of living for BC residents. While BC is famous for its fishing and agriculture industry, Genome BC had invested over $77.9 million to create healthier food productivity for BC.  Genome BC also contributed to 30,000 new jobs in the field of mining, solving problems regarding corrosion, pollutants, and creating new tools and technologies.

As a high schooler, I am often found with my nose in a textbook, studying the night before a test hoping to shove as much information I can into my head. Genome BC changes our traditional way of learning. From their “Geneskool Camp” and outreach programs, BC students are able to learn beyond their textbooks – labs, activities, murder mysteries, and fun games. Last January, students from Chilliwack and Abbotsford attended an interactive workshop where they were taught all about genomics from professionals.

Genomics is one of fields of sciences that have rapidly grown over the past decade. As non-profit research organizations such as Genome BC continue to fund projects to find out more about the “coding” of our system, we are able to further our understanding of the human body, create new jobs, and overall greatly improve our quality of life.