Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Personal genomics -- not only cancers

by Beyond Lab

A significant part of personal genomics studies have been focusing on the relationship to cancers. But that's definitely not the whole case. Recent gene analysis showed the potential use of personal genomics in other diseases related to our everyday life such as metabolic disorders -- folate (a kind of vitamin) metabolism.

Sequencing of a vitamin-dependent enzyme (critical proteins which carry out most of the molecular reactions in our body) methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) from about 600 persons' genomes found that there are some variations in the populations. Some of the variations actually affected the enzyme function. More importantly, increasing folate level could rescue its function to normal level. --This is really direct evidence that simply changing what we eat everyday could interact with personal genomes and therefore have obvious benefit.

How useful is your personal genomes? Studies like this will gradually prove it. - Some time in the future, sequencing your genome will be like buying a car. Of course, by then genomics counselors will be a good job :)

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