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personal DNA testing

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Heart attack, cancer, diabetes We'd all love to avoid big killer diseases But doctors still don't know exactly what causes them. They know it has something to do with our genes, but how much? For a fee, he'll screen your DNA and tell you your genetic risk of getting a variety of scary diseases. We're testing an individual to provide them a snapshot of how genetically loaded they are so that they can potentialy reduce their risk. DNA is made of long chains of four chemicals, best known by their initials: A, C, G and T. There is about six billon of these letters in the human genome, but reading everyone is painstaking and expensive. So the latest tests look for things called SNPs, short for "single nucleotide polymorphisms." A SNP is really any position in the genome where there is variation between individuals in the population. Nearly all of our DNA is exactly the same from person to person. But there are about three million spots where a single letter difference will commonly show up. Each of those spots is a snip. It’s just one letter, and in most cases, we don’t know exactly what it does. You might have a “C” at one position, and I might have a “T”. We’re both alive and totally functional. But those subtle variations are what make you and I unique and different. But it’s also what predisposes individuals to these common diseases. So which SNPs do I have, and what can they tell me about my health? To find out, the DNA I provided is squirted onto a silicon gene chip, which holds millions of tiny fragments of reference DNA to compare with mine. Wherever a strand of my DNA fits with the sample DNA, the two will link and light up, revealing exactly what letters I have in certain spots. The bright white spots reveal my SNPs. Navigenics will compare them to the SNPs of people with certain diseases. If I have particular SNPs in common with them, I’m more likely to get those diseases. If my SNPs put me in the group more likely to get a disease, like diabetes, for example I’ll be more motivated to adjust my lifestyle and lower my risk. It’s a nice idea, but will it work?

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 3 seconds
Country: France
Language: English
Views: 80
Posted by: ebertrand on Mar 20, 2010

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