Personal Genomics

Personal Genomics are an ensemble of technologies allowing the discovery of genetic information about a single given individual. Knowledge extracted from previous biological studies on large cohorts is used to perform dedicated recommendations valid for this given individual.

This is the opposite, for example, of pharmacogenomics or gene profiling that use many patients to identify general biological information (what is the purpose of one particular gene? what gene is responsible for what pathology? Is a molecule active on some genes of some patients?…)

Possible applications of personal genomics are (non-exhaustive list):

  • Mutations identifications
  • Risks factor identification
  • Genetic counseling
  • Personalized medicine
  • Genetic (dis)similarities between people
  • Ancestry analysis

Through the last decade, genomic high-throughput technologies were developed. Those technologies allows the measuring of tens (or hundreds) of thousands of positions in a genome. Following the technology used, it is sometimes based on DNA, RNA, oligonucleotides, etc.

Now that these technologies begin to be tamed, mass applications are at hand. Several companies (mainly in the US) now offer personal genomics services.

There is a large field of unaddressed issues. Mainly in the ethical and legal fields (depending on the country). Moreover, even if a growing audience get familiar with these technologies, lots of people still don’t know anything about it. This is the rationale of this blog: spread the personal genomics word, bringing information to a large audience in matter of personal genomics and personalized medicine. Several collaborators will work on it. Among them, a biologist, a computer scientist and a marketing specialist will give complementary points of view.

Learn more on personal genomics on wikipedia.


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