Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What would we have?

I implore you to think about it. Investigate it. What would we have if we could identify billions of base pairs? Could we give it to you in a neat 23andMe package? Could we hand you the printout Gattaca style? What would we have?

Today I received an email from a very nice gentleman from Suracell. He had sent me an interesting report. In this report I felt that I had said similar things about nutrigenomic testing. I asked "What do we have?" This report only strengthens my beliefs. To look at what we would have, we need to look at what we NOW have. GWAS through SNPs, SpitKits..because these studies are called genome wide.....some are inferring that to mean genome scans....Which they are not....even if they were....which they are not....what can we do with these things?

The knee jerk is "Nothing" The real answer is "It depends"

It depends on whether or not we have adequate data defining actionable items. But why does this even matter when the global market for personal gene testing is valued at approximately 730 million USD and growing....who in their right mind would want some of that? Why not make the quick buck for now and stay around for the real party later??? It very well may destroy us, that's why. Enough about now what about the 1000 USD genome? Well what if "it depends" suddenly became it depends a whole lot less of the time? That is precisely what we would have if whole genome analysis was available for 1000 USD.

We would have a whole lot of data that we may or may not be able to analyze. Then, if we can analyze the data...How will we act on it? I am simply amazed by the power of the genome...I have seen it damn men to heart attacks and strokes, I have seen it punish those who do not pay attention to it. I have also seen it bless individuals making them impervious to the effects of hard drinking and cigarettes. I have seen it help cure cancers and I have seen it stupefy physicians. What I haven't seen it do is explain to us how we can use it. We still have to figure that out Ladies and Gents....

So what if we have a 1000 USD genome? What would we have?

The Sherpa Says:

We would have a whole lot of work to do.........Stick around, we are only at the base of the mountain. THAT is the answer to where we would be. Now I want to know "Who loses?"

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