Friday, October 24, 2008

Gene Train Express

 


Quote of the day:
The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. - Steven Weinberg

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The rapid scientific progress in genomics is now translating into almost everyday clinical applications. It becomes obvious,although expensive at this time, that DNA analysis will cause a revolutionary catalytic disruption in how medicine will be practiced.

One-stop' embryo test unveiled

A gene mapping test could tell parents-to-be if embryos are affected by almost any inherited disease, UK scientists have claimed.image

The team from London's Bridge Centre say the £1,500 test could detect any of the 15,000 inherited diseases in weeks.  The claims for this new technique, called karyomapping which analyses chromosomes, is that it is a universal 'one size fits all' test. The human genome project has allowed mapping our DNA.

The economics of genetic testing is a double edged sword. Initially this testing will be expensive. Most payers will not pay for this testing, at first.  As the early testing translates into "assembly line" techniques the cost will diminish exponentially.  The upside is that proper testing will allow forecasting and accurate diagnosis of genetic conditions, allowing for targeted specific conditions.  Patients will benefit from designer drugs modeled to prevent allergic and cross reactions in some patients. It may become possible to design antibiotics against drug resistant organisms. 

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