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Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog

Oct 1, 2012 · Leave a Reply

"Altered States" - Tracking Your Genome Over the Years

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When Dr. Michael Snyder of Stanford suggested doing an in-depth study of individuals' genomes he began with himself... and discovered he was at risk for diabetes...and some months later, discovered he had diabetes. It was an odd situation of prediction and then diagnosis -- and because he quickly adjusted his diet and exercise, the information also helped direct treatment.

Dr. Snyder is working on more than than the genome, but also proteomic, metabolic and other regulatory readings that fill in more of the information of what's going on in your body. His goal is to combine all of this information, along with family histories to get the most comprehensive sense of what's happening in an individual. It's important that each person have one or several benchmark measurements and then follow up with genomic tests throughout the lifespan. What's important, says Dr. Snyder, is to find how the genome and the body is being altered as time goes by. He predicts one day a monitor, not unlike a glucose monitor, may collect upwards of 5,000 "things" about a person -- an "omit-wide" test -- that would be available at a pharmacy perhaps. It would be able to help determine risk, aid prevention, or catch a disease or condition early on. He also noted that currently a person can get a genome sequenced for about $35oo. Yet that is not a clinical sequence...that would cost perhaps $5,000. But that is simply the data. Analysis - so you have a good sense of what it all means, costs $15 to $20 thousand based on the approach at Stanford. Costs will come down, year by year.

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