Over the decades the tools that health care providers use have improved but the sequencing of the human genome in 2003 was a great leap forward in understanding health and disease. This was truly an historic event and even more so because its findings were quite different from those anticipated by the large body of scientists working on the project.
Sequencing your DNA though, by itself, will not tell you much about how your DNA is reacting to the world or how it will react to potential medical therapies. With the DNA sequence you can look at single molecule substitutions called SNPS, insertions and deletions, copy number variations and chromosome translocations. According to Nobel Laureate James Watson, “ You could sequence 150,000 people with cancer and it’s not going to cure anyone.”
THE WHOLE PICTURE IS WHAT COUNTS
To fully understand your risk of getting a disease and the probable response to a specific therapy or combination of treatments, you need to look at the entire picture – DNA sequence, gene expression, protein expression, life style, and your environment – in order to make appropriate lifestyle and medical decisions.
Since most diseases do not appear overnight a major goal of 21st Century medicine should be about predicting and detecting disease well before it becomes threatening and prescribing medicines or lifestyle changes that will work specifically for each patient. If you look at the whole person, including genomic analysis, disease can be identified long before it would be detected by conventional means.
THE GENOME LOADS THE GUN BUT OUR LIFE STYLE PULLS THE TRIGGER
Iris believes that prevention is as important as treatment. Prevention, however, requires a baseline health analysis allowing our researchers to recognize trends so that vital information can be shared with clients and/or health care providers in a user-friendly format.
We would like to invite you to enroll in our life long clinical study with whatever medical information is available to you. Together we can help to solve many of the complex medical conditions that we face and become more involved with our health care providers in managing our own health. Our genome is about our potential, which can be both positive and negative, but our choices become our destiny.
Written by: Bill Schaser, Director of Education