Genome Tests Offer Crystal Ball to Future

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 30 (UPI) — A genome report soon will cost no more than $1,000, enabling more people to learn about the health risks encoded in their genes, U.S. researchers said.

The price of a full genome report has dropped to below $10,000 and will continue to drop, WebMD reported Friday.

Stephen Quake, 40, a bioengineer at Stanford University, said he underwent genome testing to learn whether he had any of the risk factors that caused a 19-year-old relative to die suddenly in his sleep.

Stanford researchers determined Quake carries three gene variants linked to sudden cardiac death and is at increased risk for clogged arteries, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

“It is all bad news,” Quake told WebMD, saying every person who examines their genome will find they carry risk genes for more than one serious or deadly disease.

The helpful news is that genome analysis can guide doctors in prescribing preventative treatments, WebMD reported. In Quake’s case he learned he’s genetically more likely to respond to low doses of cholesterol-lowering drugs with a lower risk of side effects.

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