Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Step Closer to Personalized Medicine

The Mayo Clinic in AZ and the Translational Genomics Research Institute last week reported the whole genome sequencing of a pancreatic cancer patient’s normal and cancer cells. Comparing the sequences allowed the researchers to identify mutations caused by the cancer which can be helpful in directing therapy. Just about a decade ago, the human genome was completely sequenced for the first time which required 13 years and US$2.7B. Today, second generation sequencing technologies parallelize and miniaturize the sequencing of DNA, which substantially lowers the cost and time required to sequence DNA. Single molecule methods are currently being developed which should further reduce time and costs to levels that can allow for wide use and realize the potential of personalized medicine. Whole genome sequencing of patient’s DNA can allow doctors to predict the likelihood of patient’s acquiring specific diseases and direct therapy once diagnosed.

Now if we can only get by those pesky ethical issues …

By, BioTek Instruments

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