Genetic Future

Archives for April, 2009

Nutrigenomics is a word typically associated with shady companies trying to use genetic tests to sell you expensive diets – but GenomeWeb News reports that the area may finally be receiving some legitimate scientific attention: The Salk Institute today said that it will use a $5.5 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B.…

I ranted yesterday about two misleading pieces in the Telegraph (an opinion piece from Steve Jones, and a follow-up article) that sequentially converted a debate between scientists over the value of genome-wide association studies and the future of genetic research into a broader indictment of the last few years of common disease genetics. Mark Walport,…

A paper just published online in Nature Genetics describes a brute force approach to finding the genes underlying serious diseases in cases where traditional methods fall flat. While somewhat successful, the study also illustrates the paradoxical challenge of working with large-scale sequencing data: there are often too many possible disease variants, and it can be…

I wrote a few days ago about a debate in the New England Journal of Medicine over the value of data emerging from recent genome-wide studies of the role of genetic variation in common human diseases and other traits. David Goldstein argued that genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have generated disappointing results, and should be scaled…

Mark Henderson reports that an influential UK think-tank, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, has launched an inquiry into personalised medicine: The Nuffield working party includes nine scientists, social scientists, lawyers and philosophers. It will consider whether genetic tests ought to be regulated more tightly, and whether people who buy them and then consult their GPs…

Jonathan Eisen summarises the major themes from the Joint Genome Institute meeting. He has a numbered list of 20 highlights – here’s a few that I thought would be of most interest to Genetic Future readers: 2. Ecological and population genomics are truly the next big thing. 3. Related to the above point, one of the…

John Hawks riffs on the themes of a recent Economist article on personal genomics (which I’ve also talked about here). Hawks argues that “nobody’s quite figured out how to sell sequence to people” – that although 23andMe’s marketing strategy is shrewd, it’s still “marketing based on anxiety”, and the provided content initially didn’t seem that appealing:…

A reader pointed me to a recent Economist article on personal genomics. There are numerous tidbits of interest, such as a passing comment about the chaotic Chinese personal genomics industry (about which I know almost nothing). Perhaps the most important quote comes in the closing paragraph: Dr Church even argues that genome sequencing “will in effect…

Dieting to fit into your genes

Mary Mangan at Open Helix predicts that personal genomics will trigger the appearance of a brand new eating disorder: geneorexia nervosa. …there will be a proportion of people who take their genetic information (which I know is of varying utility at best right now to those who have been sequenced ), and they’ll change their…

The latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has four excellent and thought-provoking articles on the recent revolution in the genetics of common disease and its implications for personalised medicine and personal genomics. Razib and Misha Angrist have already commented, and there’s also a thorough lay summary by Nick Wade in the NY Times. The scene…