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03/13/2012

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Will

This is a very useful counterpoint to many of the genetic chapters in "The Creative Destruction of Medicine". I was left incredulous by how little value-add the collection of SNPs really provide to a person. I think the optimism is very misplaced, especially as we begin to factor in epigenetics/epistasis.

That said: A slightly higher risk in FNSOO (which already has a low prevalence) isn't a significant health problem. BUT, when you're dealing with a disease with already high prevalence (breast cancer, colon cancer), these increases of 30, 50% become quite significant.

But then again, as this catches on, the data becomes more useful so...

Bill Gardner

Thanks. Your point about epigenetics is exactly right. The benefit to the patient will have to be demonstrated; those demonstrations will themselves be very expensive.

Cheap gene sequencing will accelerate fundamental biology, which is awesome. It's hard for me to see that there will be significant near term clinical benefits.

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