Genomic decoding and assessment are about to be commercialized, and that’s too for a very affordable price. Well affordable for the kind of information the assessment might provide. Some people might just shout about the social/ethical implications of learning about your ancestral history and your likeliness of getting affected by any particular disease, but I am all excited about the prospect. An Icelandic company, deCODEme, is going to assess a person’s genome matrix for disease risk, physical attributes such as hair and eye colors, and ancestral trajectory – from where their ancestors came nearly 50,000 years back! And that’s all for $985 and a small tissue scrape from the inner cheeks over the mail. However, the efficacy of the test will depend upon the growing number of applicants. Larger the database, better will be the analysis.
Why would the analysis depend upon the number of applicants? I am not going to repeat the information over here. The whole technology behind analyzing the genome rests on something called SNP chips. These chips can determine DNA at the sites of analysis on the genome track and capture information at the points of differences of the DNA. The whole thing boils down to the point where the chip can record the characteristics on the basis of these difference points. It is indeed complicated. May be I can do some more research on this. Meanwhile, you can check out more over [here].
Quoting from the article *** but because so little is known about the meaning of variation at each site on the genome, there was not much of interest he could say about himself. Companies like Decode hope that the more people have themselves genotyped, the better they will become at interpreting each DNA difference ***. I think this whole prospect is multi dimensional. Some of the areas that could see growth are:
- Bio-informatics and companies who are currently doing genotyping. The larger the volume of information, the bigger the sample space and the better is the analysis of DNA site differences between genome points of other individuals
- SNP chip manufacturers like Illumina of San Diego and Affymetrix of Santa Clara, CA
- Compoutational power – to deal with the complicated informatics processing
- Data security and encryption
- Ancestral trajectory analysis and reporting
- Disease informatics mapping tied up with with DNA differences at genome sites – may be a great information for clinical discoveries in pharmaceutical companies.
So I guess opportunities are boundless. Meanwhile, let me study a bit more about genotyping!! 🙂