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Personalized Genetics: Research in the News

When I started to share the most recent news and improvements of personalized genetics or genomic medicine, it wasn’t an easy job to find 4-5 articles a week. Now, my bookmark is totally full and I have to write posts focusing on different aspects of this special field of medicine. This time, while a whole genome sequencing costs less than 60,000$, genomic research should be in the focus:

Consumers also lack confidence and knowledge about genetic testing. They are generally concerned with privacy and the possibility of discrimination in health insurance and employment. However, consumers were interested in the genomic technology that can lead to better diagnosis and care for certain diseases – the ones for which they and their family members are at increased risk.

These genomic companies have taken a huge financial and clinical risk in bringing these tests to the market. The tests are in their infancy and each of these companies are transparent in advising their customers of this fact. That said, massive scientific research continues to take place to build on the knowledge base of these tests, so that they may be refined. This process will never end.

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After gathering extensive experimental information on the metabolic networks of three different single-celled organisms, the researchers built a general quantitative model that can be used to control and restore biological function to cells impaired by a genetic defect or by other factors that compromise gene activity. Their network-based method does this by targeted deletion of genes, forcing the cell to either bypass the functions affected by the defective gene or to compensate for the lost function.

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