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Showing posts from March, 2010

Regulations, Clinical Utility & Personal Genetics

Personal genetics is moving faster than ever, we began with a few variants in an affordable genetic test, now we have hundreds of thousands, soon it will be sequencing of all our genes (exome sequencing) and finally, the whole genome by 2011, 2012, 2013? Who’s prepared to predict?

What’s the use of it though – the technology is moving much more rapidly than the knowledge of the effects of genetic variation and we still only really have a few “clinically useful” applications? A problem that has not yet been fixed is the oversight of commercial services, the fact that there are not yet any new specific regulations to deal with personal genetics is probably just as well because by the time any law is passed it would be likely to be out of date. The lack of really effective clinical utility and the existence of commercial interests increases the confusion though. It’s hard to sell something that is interesting, “fun”(?), quite expensive, but not actually that useful to the majority right …

A low GI (glycemic index) and high MUFA Mediterranean diet performed better (for HDL and glycemia) than traditional Med or ADA diet

This post does not have much in the way of personal genetics but is not completely unrelated. If personal genetics is going to work then it will have to involve lifestyle changes especially diet, not just for weight loss but for health. As far as obesity is concerned there have been plenty of GWAS and many genes associated, hopefully the results will be be useful for understanding mechanisms because a gene panel for predicting obesity does not seem to be terribly useful right now, it’s one of the phenotypic traits that most people are aware of without any genetic testing. One much sought after goal though is to use genetics to predict what sort of weight loss diet will be most effective – there are some tantalising studies and there is one company, Interleukin Genetics, that recently introduced a weight loss panel. They claim to be able to select the best diet but until they actually publish their work that they refer to we cannot judge. For now the only weight loss use of nutrigeneti…