First of all if you are not familiar with what this is all about, use the link below to watch a video that will help you comprehend what is going on with the Human Genome Project and the Personal Genome Project.
With genomics we are merging two different worlds, the clinical world of healthcare and that of science. In the past both have had their respective boundaries of sorts, but now the two have some very common ground, fighting disease and finding cures for cancer. Genomics is still very much a science in many areas, but holds the key to personalized medicine and the treatment plans and cures we are looking for.
I also did an interview with Dr. Patrice Milos from Helicos, one of the companies that manufactures the genomic sequencing machines and you can read more here. We both agreed on one item too with the doctor coming from science and pharmaceuticals, and me with technology, it’s all about software and being able to run the expressions to find the cures and treatments.
As the article states here, it is starting to happen and we have the battle too of whether or not the insurance industry will embrace and pay for genetic testing, they do pay for some tests, but many of the new specific tests, example one for warfarin, is still up in the air, we don’t know if Medicare will pay for it yet or not, much less insurance and if you use the link above you can see a study is already being done to evaluate whether or not it is cost effective. Remember insurance is risk management so if it turns out they can cut costs by allowing genetic testing, they will, but if they run their very complicated algorithms and determine it is not, well we know the story there as well. So not only is the clinical world being meshed with science, so is the world of health insurance and if they create studies and algorithms that state they are not fitting the bill, well you know where we go from there, science available, but no money to advance research and patient care, and a world full of clinicians who are standing by, not knowing which direction to go. BD
Harvard geneticist George Church, 54, is co-founder of the Human Genome Project and the Personal Genome Project. More than anyone in his field, he's helped open up DNA mapping technology to the masses. Although most DNA startups, including some he has advised, often focus on less expensive "genotyping" that can test for a limited number of known traits, Church has been a proponent of making blueprints of entire gene sets available at affordable prices. Until recently, that seemed like a pipe dream.
Only a handful of people on the planet have had all their genes mapped. It's been a six- and seven-figure proposition on. But as Church points out here, it's starting to happen, and it could be a boon for biotech.
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