The medical world is improving at rapid speed - say the magic words “personalized medicine”. This talk will provide some background on the use of DNA sequencing/other kinds of sequencing/other molecules used as markers for a potential disease. There are a multitude of gene-based diagnostic tests on the market and this is only the beginning. The prospect of whole-genome sequencing for everyone is on the horizon, but what are the implications? We touch upon ethical issues regarding risk and prognosis of disease (who needs to know?) or storage and use of your personal health records and sequencing data.
As part of a company providing support to bring gene-signature based diagnostics to the market, I have full exposure to the scientific discovery, validation process and influence of multiple stakeholders in the diagnostic field. Not only are some diseases hard to diagnose without checking on a molecular level, we can also give a better prognosis or choose the right treatment for your type of condition. And who would not want to know whether they inherited some “difficult genes” from their parents? What else do your molecules tell about you and what could anyone else possibly do with that information? I’d like to bring some awareness to the audience about the potential of sequencing-based technology in health and disease and the issues it might bring along, which are of bigger concern and much closer to reality than “choosing the ideal genes for your baby”. NB: I am here as a critical individual and (computational) biologist, not as an employee.