Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Personal genomics, beyond the hype   posted by Razib @ 9/15/2009 04:57:00 PM

ScienceDaily has an interesting piece, Individual Genetic Data Illuminates How Genes Influence Human Health. Points to two papers, Epistasis and Its Implications for Personal Genetics and Genetic Population Structure Analysis in New Hampshire Reveals Eastern European Ancestry. If you read a weblog like Genetic Future you are probably cognizant of the fact that personal genomics firms are invested in overselling and hyping their current efficacy to serve their economic interests. And yet I was intrigued as to the disjunction between the present day capabilities of personal genomics and the perception of its power in the general media when listening to a recent episode of Plant Money. The hosts spoke as if personal genomics had already rendered health insurance obsolete because science had removed uncertainty from prediction of disease risk. Even when personal genomics does become powerful enough to push itself far beyond the margins when it comes to effecting personal health decisions, randomness is probably going to be a big factor in who becomes ill simply because randomness is a fact of biology.

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