G(e)nomes and Trolls: DNA sequencing and future risk

30 Mar 2017

Typically, when we talk about futuristic technologies in healthcare, it’s often hard to anticipate how quickly society will make the bridge between science fiction and mainstream medical practice. That was almost certainly the case in the early noughties when scientists were at work developing the publication of the first complete genome in an effort to provide a DNA bible by which future medicine would abide. However, just 14 years on from the big breakthrough in 2003, DNA sequencing is making itself uncompromisingly known in the daily lives of health practitioners in some of the most important fields of treatment.

BLM healthcare partner Greg McEwen tells us more about DNA sequencing and associated risks in an article published this week in Pixel Health.

2017 itself was intended to be a landmark year for the development of ‘genomic services’ – a term coined by the Department for Health when it launched the 100,000 Genomes project in 2012, with the intention of sequencing 100,000 genomes from NHS patients within the space of five years.

While that initial deadline may have been moved back a year, all signs are pointing to DNA sequencing becoming this century’s defining revolution in mainstream treatment as it creates a sprawling mass of new data with which to develop treatments for previously untouchable diseases. The economics and scale are also becoming a lot more attractive; with big businesses like Philips and IBM engaged in research, the production of a complete DNA sequence can now be achieved in less than a day at a rapidly dropping cost, projected to soon reach just $100.

Click here to read the article in full.

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