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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday June 28 2017, @08:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-fear-the-sequencer dept.

Don't be scared. It's just one little genome:

Advances in technology have made it much easier, faster and less expensive to do whole genome sequencing — to spell out all three billion letters in a person's genetic code. Falling costs have given rise to speculation that it could soon become a routine part of medical care, perhaps as routine as checking your blood pressure.

But will such tests, which can be done for as little as $1,000, prove useful, or needlessly scary?

The first closely-controlled study [DOI: 10.7326/M17-0188] [DX] aimed at answering that question suggests that doctors and their patients can handle the flood of information the tests would produce. The study was published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine.

"We can actually do genome sequencing in normal, healthy individuals without adverse consequences — and actually with identification of some important findings," says Teri Manolio, director of the division of genomic medicine at the National Human Genome Institute, which funded the study. Manolio wrote an editorial [DOI: 10.7326/M17-1518] [DX] accompanying the paper.

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  • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Wednesday June 28 2017, @10:16AM

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Wednesday June 28 2017, @10:16AM (#532352)

    That is true in Europe true (the countries I know). You do not have to disclose elevated risk though (genetic diseases in the family). The compromise is therefore: once you become aware of elevated risks, get your insurance, then get testing. Genetic counseling has to explicitly mention this point. The study conclusion is negative and I would have expected this. Consequences of many genetic alterations cannot be predicted (so called ExAC project) in many cases which will still be the case for a couple of years at least.