Gene Tech Biological Basis Personalized Genomics And Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Medicine Type: Essay Paper: #5682887 Related Topics: Medicine, Genetic Testing, Medical And Medicine, Privatization

Excerpt from Essay :

Gene Tech

Biological Basis

Personalized genomics and personalized medicine refers to a collection of technologies and techniques designed to custom design pharmaceutical treatments according to the patient's genome sequence. The starting point for personalized medicine, which has also been called "stratified medicine" or "precision medicine" is the completion of the Human Genome Project (NHMRC, 2014). The Human Genome Project has permitted unprecedented access to genetic information and the implications the information has on human health factors.

A genome is the entire collection of genes, about 23,000 different ones, embedded in each cell of the body (The Jackson Laboratory, 2014). According to Snyder, Du & Gerstein (2010), determining a genome sequence involves "identifying single-nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs] and structural variations [SVs], assembling new sequences, and phasing haplotypes," (p. 423). Although only two percent of the human genome is actually comprised of genes themselves, the human genome "influences how we look, our genetic predispositions for certain medical conditions, how well our bodies fight disease or metabolize food, and which therapies our bodies do and do not respond to," ("Personalized Medicine," n.d.).

Therefore, understanding how to decode the human genome can help biochemists develop targeted interventions based on an individual's unique blueprint. Those interventions can be preventative in nature as well as ameliorative. Biochemists might be able to prepare custom-designed medications that not only target the exact areas of concern, but that are also far superior than general medications because of side effects. Genes may cause to some


Personalized genomics is, however, in its infancy. It is not yet possible to sequence a person's entire genome with a hundred percent accuracy, raising important questions about the current feasibility of personalized medicine (Snyder, Du & Gernstein, 2010).

Social and Ethical Considerations

Personalized medicine is not yet widely available, and although costs have "dramatically" been decreasing, it remains out of reach for most people (Snyder, Du & Gernstein, 2010, p. 423). It is a for-profit sector that "already generates $286 billion per year in revenues and is growing by 11% annually (The Jackson Laboratory, 2014). Personal genome sequencing involves tests and procedures that are costly as well as time consuming.

However, it is predicted that in the long run, personalized medicine will actually reduce total health care costs because of the elimination of costs associated with misdiagnoses and mismatched medications. The trial and error method of doctors seeing what works best for a patient can be replaced by a far more efficient mode of intervention. The application of personalized medicine specifically for discovering the way medications interact on different people is called pharmacogenetics (NHMRC, 2014). Pharmacogenetics can reduce problems related to underdose, overdose, medication interaction problems, and medication errors. Given that some medication errors and side effects can be fatal, personalized medicine and pharmacogenetics can directly improve patient outcomes.

As the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC,…

Sources Used in Documents:


The Jackson Laboratory (2014). Personalized medicine and genomics. Retrieved online:

"Personalized Medicine," (n.d.). U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved online:

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, 2014). Personalized medicine and genetics. Australian Government. Retrieved online:

Snyder, M., Du, Jiang & Gerstein, M. (2010). Personal genome sequencing: current approaches and challenges. Genes and Development 2010(24), 423-431.

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