A blog I posted a couple of months ago talked about us being able to get our genome sequenced. I then used a poll to see who out there would get their genome sequenced. The results as of today are 71% yes, 13% no, and 16% maybe (out of 68 votes total). This is very interesting. The majority of you would actually get your genome sequenced (this includes me :))
Today, I would like to let you know that soon you will be able to walk into your nearby drug store (currently this will be Walgreens) and pick up a DNA kit at a discounted price of around $20-30, and screen for health conditions (Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, obesity), ancestry (maternal vs. paternal), carrier status (Fanconi anemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Polycystic kidney disease), and several drug responses (Tamoxifen response and Warfarin Metabolism). These are a couple of examples that are included in the tests, and believe me there is a long list. This kit is brought to you by the lovely people from Pathway Genomics. If the tone of my post sounds like an ad, then I must be doing something right. There is a lot of criticism out there of whether this is helpful or more harmful to patients taking the test. My fellow lab buddy thinks this is a terrible thing to put out on the market. She explained to me that there will be many people out there who will misinterpret the data and may put themselves through tremendous stress. Playing devil's advocate, I told her this can actually get people to see their doctor. Who knows...maybe it'll make me think twice about ordering that delicious fried chimichanga smothered in chili con queso and order the taco salad instead. Our genes are as important to our health as what we put into our bodies (eat and drink) and how well we take care of ourselves (excercise and weight).
I now ask, "Is this the first baby step toward genome sequencing?" Hmmmm, What do you think?????
UPDATE: I WOULD LIKE TO NOTE THAT THESE TEST ARE NOT APPROVED BY THE FDA AND ARE CURRENTLY BEING INVESTIGATED.