Personalized Genomics Available at a Price
The ability to understand current health conditions and to learn what others might develop down the road is one of the biggest reasons that some people are getting excited about personalized genomics. Although genome sequencing isn’t anything new, making it available on a personal level is. At a cost that currently falls just below $10,000, an individual can have their entire genome sequenced.
In spite of all the excitement about the availability of this science in the news, some people feel that it also presents some predicaments. The decisions that can be made, based on the knowledge that comes from having a personal genome sequenced, can lead to ethical issues.
The process generally takes about 6 weeks, but, as technology continues to improve, the process continues to grow faster and less expensive. The introduction of automated sequencers has made it possible for scientific laboratories to offer this service to the public. Some of the health concerns that this new technology will address will include hereditary cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other complex genetic-based diseases. For some of these, the individual’s physician may be able to adjust their treatment course, in order to delay the onset of the condition, or prevent its onset altogether.
It is evident from the large number of science news articles on the topic that solving the role of genetics in the way many common diseases occur is being rapidly unraveled. Personalized medicine is already in use today for some disorders, including some hereditary forms of cancer. This option for personalized genomics is another step in the science that can lead to a healthier future society.