Sequencing your genome may become a routine part of family checkup

| | June 29, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Advances in technology have made it much easier, faster and less expensive to do whole genome sequencing…Falling costs have given rise to speculation that it could soon become a routine part of medical care, perhaps as routine as checking your blood pressure.

But will such tests, which can be done for as little as $1,000, prove useful, or needlessly scary?

The first closely-controlled study aimed at answering that question suggests that doctors and their patients can handle the flood of information the tests would produce.

Jason Vassy, a researcher at the VA Boston Healthcare System who led the study,…sought to find out what routine testing would look like in a general medicine setting. They studied 100 healthy, middle-aged patients whose primary care physicians randomly asked them if they were interested in having their genomes sequenced.

Among the 50 volunteers who got sequenced, the researchers found that about 1 in 5 had a variant in their genome that was associated with a rare, sometimes serious genetic disease…Most of them were fine, but what happened next surprised the researchers: Neither the volunteers nor their doctors overreacted.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see that primary care physicians were able to manage their patients’ genetic results appropriately,” Vassy says.

[However,] others fear that people who get sequenced could be subject to discrimination.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Routine DNA Sequencing May Be Helpful And Not As Scary As Feared

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