Scientists Use Thousands of Genetic Markers to Develop Risk Scores for Six Common Diseases: Findings May Have Implications for Clinical Laboratories

Study demonstrates how precision medicine is advancing because of new insights from the use and interpretation of whole-genome sequencing As part of the Genomic Medicine at Veterans Affairs Study (GenoVA), researchers from Harvard Medical School, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts used thousands of genetic markers to develop and validate polygenic risk scores (PRS) for six common illnesses. These findings may eventually provide clinical...

Common DNA Testing Method Using SNP Chips Struggles to Find Rare Variants Associated with BRCA Test, UK Researchers Find

Results of the UK study confirm for clinical laboratory professionals the importance of fully understanding the design and function of SNP chips they may be using in their labs Here is another example of a long-established clinical laboratory test that—upon new evidence—turns out to be not as accurate as once thought. According to research conducted at the University of Exeter in Devon, UK, Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips (aka, SNP microarrays)—technology commonly used in commercial...

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Some Bacteria Derail Weight Loss, Suggest Analysis of Individuals’ Microbiomes; a Clinical Lab Test Could Help Millions Fight Obesity

CDC reports more than 93-million US adults are obese, and health issues related to obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancers In recent years, the role of the human microbiome in weight loss or weight gain has been studied by different research groups. There is keen interest in this subject because of the high rates of obesity, and diagnostic companies know that development of a clinical laboratory test that could assess how an individual’s microbiome affects his/her...

Could ‘Money Back’ Guarantees Become More Common for Medical Devices, Clinical Laboratory Tests, and Prescription Drugs as Manufacturers Strive to Prove Clinical Value?

Examples already exist of manufacturers agreeing to refund payments if their therapeutic drugs don’t benefit patients; Medical laboratories with proprietary tests may find this strategy effective at guaranteeing the clinical utility of their assays If their medical devices, medical laboratory tests, or prescription drugs are not effective, will payers, patients, and doctors get refunds from the manufacturers of these products? Some experts predict that the increased emphasis on improved...

New Miniature Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices from DexCom and Verily (Google Life Sciences) Promise to Make Glucose Monitoring Wearable and Affordable

Such a small, non-invasive glucose monitor would capture and transmit data to the Cloud, making it feasible for clinical laboratories to collect those tests results, and keep a record of each patient’s glucose results Probably no single area of medical laboratory testing has the greatest potential to help the largest number of patients with a chronic disease—and make a lot of money for the in vitro (IVD) manufacturer who is first to market with the right diagnostic product—than glucose testing...
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