If successful, the knowledge gained from this research may provide new tools and medical laboratory tests that pathologists can use in the management of geriatric patients
Google’s founders believe that analysis of the genomes of people who live to be 100 years old and are relatively healthy will allow them to solve the puzzle of human aging. They have funded a new company specifically to pursue this goal.
In the near future, it is unlikely that any of the science developed by this venture will lead to a diagnostic profile or clinical laboratory tests that pathologists can use to help clinicians who deal with the diseases associated with aging. But should the research team at Calico develop a better understanding of the dynamics of human aging, it would certainly be expected that this knowledge would be used to develop appropriate medical laboratory tests. (more…)
Cloud-based genetic research networks that facilitate collaboration by stakeholders worldwide may solve the most difficult disease challenges, including a cure for cancer
Coming soon to a clinical laboratory near you: cloud-based “big data” genome analysis! A new industry is emerging dedicated to accepting, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of data generated by next-generation gene sequencing and whole human-genome sequencing.
There are already examples of academic departments of pathology and laboratory medicine that have outsourced the storage and annotation of whole human genomes sequenced from tissue specimens collected from cancer patients. The annotated genomes are returned to the referring pathologists for analysis. (more…)
Clinical trial demonstrated value of genetic point-of-care testing and a rapid time to result
Here’s a milestone in genetic testing that should catch the attention of pathologists and clinical laboratory managers everywhere. It is a point-of-care (POC) genetic test that is reliable enough to be used in a clinical trial.
The clinical trial was called RAPID GENE. It was conducted at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI). The study enrolled 200 patients who were being treated with cardiac stenting for an acute coronary syndrome or stable angina. What made this study unique is that—for the first time in medicine—it used a point-of-care (POC) genetic test. The genetic POCT was used to overcome many previous obstacles that had prevented use of more routine clinical genetic testing.
Milestone achievement may lead to more sophisticated clinical laboratory tests
Now science can create synthetic life forms and J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is the first to do it. The landmark feat, which involved building the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporating it into a cell, “paves the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved,” noted the author of an article in guardian.co.uk.
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., best known to pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists for his role in sequencing the first human genome, achieved the feat at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland. Venter and his team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. The synthetic cell, called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0, is proof of the principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory, and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled by the synthetic genome. The experiment demonstrates how fast genetic technologies are advancing.
Researchers use patient’s whole genome to predict his risk for 55 different health conditions
For pathologists, the day draws ever closer when they will use a patient’s whole genome sequence for diagnostic purposes. That’s the implication from research being done at the University of Stanford Medical School where scientists recently made a leap forward in advancing practical application of the human genome to patient care.
Stanford researchers recently announced that, for the first time, a healthy person’s complete DNA was sequenced, then used to create an easy-to-use, cumulative risk report. This study model could catapult patient genomic analysis into clinical laboratories even as it adds personalized medicine to the doctor’s black bag of diagnostic tools within the decade. The Stanford study team reported these findings in a recent issue of Lancet.