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Genomic Libraries : Repositories of History and Mystery

by Mahith Alva


In this age of information that we live in today, genetic information has become as valuable as treasure and the treasure trove that consists of all the wealth in the world and the ultimate storehouse of information is the genomic library.

A genomic library can be described as a collection of what we know which can be used in any way we want in the near future.

Basically, genomic libraries are vast collections of DNA fragments derived from an entire genome of an organism.

Think of genomic libraries like a vast collection of books in a library, where each book represents a different gene or DNA fragment from an organism's genome.

Here, each DNA fragment in the genomic library represents a specific book in a regular library, just like how the books are arranged and catalogued in a library similarly the genes are arranged in particular ways in the genomic library.

As books can be borrowed for reference and study similarly the collection of genes can also be extracted and used for reference.

The way we search for the book of our interest in the vast library ,researchers use many interesting mechanisms to find the necessary gene of interest in this repository of information.

The best example in creating this so called perfect gene library is DNA extraction which is very well illustrated by the Jurassic world where the dinosaurs were brought back to life from fossilized mosquitos . Yes, gene cloning can help us create the largest and oldest of species

from the smallest ones .

Imagine fragmenting the original genome into bits and pieces so that we can pick

the best ones to create a so called perfect and ideal creation .

This is the very same concept that has been portrayed in so many science fiction movies and stories most notably “gattaca” which shows the creation of perfected beings in the future using these basic but complex processes.

Now, coming to the star of the show ,the key component of library creation that is gene cloning which is nothing but a process of creating a copy of the gene that gives the organism its features. Imagine creation of a genome filled with such superior genes leading to the creation of a superior population with all the ethical issues surrounding it .Using gene cloning ,the extinct species of the Jurassic had a chance to come back. genomic libraries are a collection of genes and any features can be picked from this long list of genes present in the genome of a library created inside the smallest of organisms like bacteria, etc gene libraries have the potential to reverse the process of evolution and there won't be a need for a time machine to see the past, as we will then have the power to create it.

There are three types of libraries mainly :-

genomic libraries:- which contain the entire genome of an organism

cDNA libraries :- which are actually collection of all the complementary DNA which are synthesized in accordance with the the messenger RNA's that produce them.

The third and final library is the synthetic library containing all the artificially designed sequences .

In the 1970's ,with the invention of recombinant DNA technology , the ability to create and modify, which created a necessity for storage which led to the creation of genomic libraries to store the sequences for future reference, a process similar to updating books in a library.

They have played a very important role in the rise of modern biotechnology as all

the information required by these technologies and clinical therapies such as disease diagnosis ,etc has come from here .These genomic libraries have wide ranging clinical applications because the information present in them make them good references to diagnose diseases and disorders by using it to recognize the presence of mutations in inheritance. This can actually prove to be revolutionary in gene therapy where therapeutic genes can be sent to a patients body to correct genetic defects by expressing or

silencing gene. But the flip side of the coin are the ethical issues around the use of these powerful sources of information as these sources in the wrong hands can be very dangerous

for our future.

Example being the creation of the Indominus rex ,the mother of all genetic hybrids in Jurassic world where genes of the largest T-rex ,the fastest raptor ,a cuttlefish and a tree frog were taken from a gene library to create a monster in a laboratory with large size, strength, intelligence and adaptability .

We can learn a very important lesson from this,

if this source of information can be channelized in the right direction ,then we can create the future but if we misuse this powerful repository ,we can destroy our future.


Overall, tomorrow is in our hands and let's make use of what history has given us to uncover the mysteries of the future using these repositories called genomic libraries.

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