outsmart your genes - the book
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genechips and full genome sequencing next generation genetic analysis history of genetics
Humans have 6 billion letters in their entire genetic makeup. When a change occurs in one or more of these letters, it is called a genetic "variant" or "mutation." These genetic variants not only determine the traits we have but also the diseases to which we are predisposed. Genetic testing can now inform you and your physician about which specific variants you contain. An easy way to think about genetics and genetic testing is to compare genetic terminology to a book, because genetics is truly our Instruction Manual of Life.
genetic terminology analogies

Outsmart Your Genes describes in very clear terms the three main types of genetic testing currently available and how they relate to you. For example, in chapter three, Dr. Colby discusses a new type of genetic testing technology called "arrays," also known as "genechips." This new, highly accurate technology has substantially reduced the cost of genetic testing and enables scientists to be able to conduct an affordable, comprehensive screen of your genetic makeup. Dr. Colby is actually the only practicing physician in the world to have designed his own genechip that not only allows him to screen for hundreds of diseases and disease predispositions utilizing a single test but also allows him to provide genetically tailored preventive recommendations so that his patients are empowered to take action against any disease they are found to carry or to which they may be predisposed.

Another technology Dr. Colby discusses is Full Genome Sequencing, which determines every letter in an individual’s entire genetic makeup. When it was first introduced, full-genome sequencing was prohibitively expensive and the results it produced were not as accurate as those obtained from genechips. For both those reasons, it was not suitable for use in medical decision-making. The accuracy, however, is quickly improving, and the cost is quickly dropping. Within a couple of years, this technology will most likely be widely used by physicians in the daily clinical care of their patients.

To put full genome sequencing into perspective, the Human Genome Project, which was a multinational initiative to sequence the entire genome of a single person, was successfully completed in 2003 after 10 years at a cost of three billion dollars. Since then, technological leaps forward have brought down the price to just a few thousand dollars and reduced the turn-around time to just a few weeks. Within five years, the price of full genome sequencing for an individual is expected to be under $100 and take less than 15 minutes. While genechip technology has already enabled the start of the genetic revolution in medicine, full genome sequencing, the next amazing advancement, is just around the corner. Utilizing genechips, and soon full genome sequencing, we can integrate genetics into our daily lives, thereby allowing us to live healthier and longer. The genetic revolution is now underway!

While genechips and full genome sequencing provide us with a tremendous amount of raw data about your genetic makeup the data has to be analyzed in order to make it understandable and useful for you and your physician. Dr. Colby specializes in genetic analysis of genechips and full genome sequencing data, and has developed numerous technologies that enable efficient full genome analysis. Click here to learn more about Next Generation Genetic Analysis.

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