Epistasis Blog

From the Computational Genetics Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania (www.epistasis.org)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Individual Genomes Instead of Race for Personalized Medicine

Only two data points but nonetheless interesting.

Ng PC, Zhao Q, Levy S, Strausberg RL, Venter JC. Individual genomes instead of race for personalized medicine. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Sep;84(3):306-9. [PubMed]

Abstract

The cost of sequencing and genotyping is aggressively decreasing, enabling pervasive personalized genomic screening for drug reactions. Drug-metabolizing genes have been characterized sufficiently to enable practitioners to go beyond simplistic ethnic characterization and into the precisely targeted world of personal genomics. We examine six drug-metabolizing genes in J. Craig Venter and James Watson, two Caucasian men whose genomes were recently sequenced. Their genetic differences underscore the importance of personalized genomics over a race-based approach to medicine. To attain truly personalized medicine, the scientific community must aim to elucidate the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to drug reactions and not be satisfied with a simple race-based approach.

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