Introducing Somatic Genomics
Revealing a new universe of genetic information
We contain not one, but trillions of divergent genomes throughout our bodies, the sum of which we call our somatic genome. Somatic Genomics studies this natural library of variant genomes that contains vastly more genetic information than we ever thought possible.
Illuminating a new field of biology
We thought we had just one genome. It turns out we have trillions.
Somatic mutations are random genetic changes that occur in each of our trillions of cells. Some genetic changes can make a cell resistant or vulnerable to disease, while others can cause disease. This variation may account for why healthy and diseased cells can co-exist in the same tissue.
A multitude of cellular clinical trials
Natural target selection at the cellular level
Natural selection conducts a process akin to a clinical trial at the cellular level to test somatic mutations, identifying which ones are beneficial vs. neutral vs. disease-causing.
Novel links between genes and disease are constantly emerging inside every tissue – yet have remained invisible to traditional genetics approaches. Illuminating beneficial and disease-causing variants can open vast potential to develop novel medicines that imitate or inhibit a variant’s impact.
Learn more about the science of Somatic Genomics
NatureSeptember 16, 2021The Mutational Landscape of Human Somatic and Germline CellsLuiza Moore et al.
NatureApril 21, 2022Somatic Mutation Rates Scale with Lifespan across MammalsAlex Cagan et al.