Genetic Future

Archives for November, 2008

Disclaimer: I was one of the authors on a 2003 study reporting a link between ACTN3 and athletic performance, but I have no financial interest in ACTN3 gene testing. The opinions expressed in this post are purely my own. An article in the NY Times yesterday describes the launch of the grandiosely named Athletic Talent…

At Gene Expression, p-ter points to two studies in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine examining the predictive value of known genetic markers for type 2 diabetes. Both studies find the additional predictive power of the genetic markers beyond traditional predictors (like age, sex, family history, body-mass index, fasting glucose levels, systolic blood pressure,…

Pharmacogenomics Reporter (subscription required) describes an intriguing twist in the ongoing struggle between the nascent personal genomics industry and regulatory bodies: apparently the FDA is exploring the possibility of collaborating with consumer genomics providers to track adverse drug reactions: Lawrence Lesko, director of FDA’s Office of Clinical Pharmacology, said the agency has already begun preliminary…

A Nature News article describes the growing availability of technology that allows the screening of human embryos for hundreds of different genetic disorders prior to implantation. The technology is based on the same type of chips used by personal genomics companies like 23andMe, but the chips used for embryo screening would initially be used to…

Limitations of 1000 Genomes Project

A Nature News article discusses the ongoing 1000 Genomes Project, an international effort planning to sequence 1,200-1,500 human genomes. The discussion springs from project co-chair David Altshuler’s update at last week’s American Society of Human Genetics meeting on the progress of the project (in brief: 3.8 terabases down, 996.2 terabases to go). The article provides…

Blaine Bettinger at the Genetic Genealogist has an extensive and thoughtful critique of the American Society of Human Genetics’ recently released statement on genetic ancestry testing (pdf). (You can read about the Society’s statement at GenomeWeb News and Science Now; 23andMe also comments from the point of view of a company engaged in ancestry testing.)…

Last week I posted on the publication of three papers in Nature describing whole-genome sequencing using next-generation technology: one African genome, one Asian genome, and two genomes from a female cancer patient (one from her cancer cells and one from healthy skin tissue). At the end of that post I noted that the era of…

Reports in Australian papers the Age and the Brisbane Times note the impending arrival of a newcomer to the personal genomics scene: Lumigenix, a home-grown offering cooked up by Sydney entrepreneur Romain Bonjean. The new arrival will face several major obstacles to establishing itself in the market. Firstly, 23andMe has been offering its well-established and…

Note: I’m introducing Do It Yourself as a new and hopefully semi-regular section on Genetic Future. The aim is to provide readers with instructions on how to access online resources for sequence analysis – an activity traditionally restricted to researchers, but one that will no doubt become more common as more and more people begin…

deCODE CEO Kari Stefansson on the recent award of Time magazine’s “Invention of the Year” to personal genomics competitor 23andMe: Despite the fact that we launched our test first – so we basically invented this, and also 23andMe is using a substantial number of sequence variants that we discovered. So we feel flattered by the…