My dream about the prevention of genetic conditions
I think, after 2 and a half months of blogging, it’s time to tell you my dream. I’m nearly sure about that this dream wouldn’t come true in my lifetime. I dream about a total screening for genetic conditions and diseases. When you are born, your DNA is screened for well-known variations and gene abnormalities. These variations lead to increased risk for some kind of diseases. Now, I’m not talking about only monogenic disorders, but multifactural ones: heart disease, gout, some types of cancer.
A predictive gene test can determine if you have gene mutations that increase your chances of developing a disease. Why is it so important? Because you might not have any signs or symptoms of the disorder, but if you have a strong family history of a genetic condition, you might be at risk of developing that. And many of these problems could be treated (e.g. diet, physical activity…) in case the therapy is launched in time.
Recently, I’ve found 3 articles writing about developments in the field of genetic screening, I hope you’ll enjoy them:
- Oxford Gene Technology in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to develop a microarray to test for genetic defects in unborn children
Many thousands of people choose each year to test their early pregnancies for serious abnormalities of development. This new technology promises to make these tests, faster, more accurate and better targeted than current methods which have been in use for the past 30 years.
Scientists have successfully tested a technique for identifying newly recognized DNA variations that may influence disease risk. Rather than focus on errors and alterations in DNA sequence, the new technique highlights variations in the number of copies of a particular gene. Additional copies of a gene may lead to overproduction of that gene’s protein, and this may affect both easily identifiable traits such as body size or more difficult-to-discern traits such as cancer risk.
University of Leicester research into variations in the human genome which may have links with serious medical conditions, has received a highly-sought after international award…Professor Brookes said: “This is a much-appreciated and timely award. It will help create an important gene-disease database that will consolidate the ever-increasing flow of genetic discoveries in a way that has true global relevance for mankind’s health and well-being.