Genomics has proved its relevance to all aspects of biology and medicine. It is now common to talk about sequencing entire populations and countries, resolving organs and individuals at the single-cell level, and developing treatments guided by genomic data. We are now able to edit genomes at will, synthesize entire chromosomes, and perform big data experiments in silico without ever touching a pipette. Importantly, while much has been done, much remains to be discovered as our knowledge of the human genome is far from complete. We possess only a rudimentary understanding of the non-coding regulatory genome, and polygenic risk scores hold the promise for dissecting genetic contributions to complex disease. New technology platforms, such as epigenetics and transcriptomes deployed at scale, will be undoubtedly essential to further understand the elusive connections between genotype and phenotype, a fundamental underpinning of genetics. Besides humans, understanding genomic variation in non-human species, including microbiomes, flora and fauna will further improve our mapping of the limits of biological variation, with impact in the emerging areas of food, nutrition, and health. In the clinic, genomic medicine raises the possibility of improving early diagnosis and prevention - however, we also need to appreciate the potential risks of genomic misuse, and the need to interact with community stakeholders to develop ethical social-legal frameworks respecting individual privacy yet enabling responsible data sharing for research and discovery. Our ultimate vision is for genomics to touch the lives of every Singaporean, in one way or another.
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