Optogenetics is one of the most interesting and promising of the new technologies in science and medicine. It involves modifying DNA with genes that make light-sensitive proteins. Modifying neurons in this way makes them react when energized by light. Most experimentation to date has focused on understanding how neural systems work and how they might [...]

Genomics is Beginning to Show Results

Two stories in the last two days illustrate that the genomics revolution in medicine is gathering speed and is about to deliver tangible benefits. The Tampa Tribune (via Medcity News) reports about a team of researchers that has found that persons with a certain genetic signature can prevent fatal heart arrhythmias by using a specific beta-blocking [...]

Genomics and Privacy

I am intrigued by a story in the New York Times (Jan 17, 2013), about someone who was able to use anonymous genetic data posted online to determine the identities of the those whose dna sequences were published. The implication is that disseminating genomic data will compromise individual privacy unless a strong security protocol is [...]

The Power of Genome Sequencing

Incorporating genomics technology will be increasingly important for medical product design as the cost of sequencing and analysis falls.  In the coming years, we will see amazing new devices that utilize some form of genomics technology as their foundation. This amazing story, that I picked up from MedCity News, confirms how genome sequencing is going improve [...]

The Limits of Gene Sequencing

A recent article in the New York Times  points to a study of 53,666 sets of identical twins that looked for genetic predictors of disease. Turns out the study found little value in using genetic makeup to predict disease. An interesting finding, but not surprising, as the field is still in its infancy. As gene [...]

Genome Analysis News

MIT’s Technology Review recently ran a story  about a company that hopes to dramatically increase the speed of analyzing a sequenced genome. We’ve written in the past about how genome sequencing is getting faster and less expensive, but it still takes a year to do the analysis on the genome to derive any useful information [...]

The Family Tree of the World

That is what Andreas Sundquist of DNAnexus predicts we will be able to put together within ten years. That’s a fascinating prospect in itself, with far-reaching ramifications. But Sundquist’s real point is that DNA sequencing is poised to become routine. He thinks that by 2014, we will have sequenced a million human genomes, tens of millions [...]

A Second Imperative

I have been emphasizing how, in order to truly control health costs, it will be imperative to figure out how to get people to live healthy lifestyles in order to avoid disease and, in so doing, obviate the need for expensive interventionary care. In my reading about future trends in medicine, it’s become apparent that [...]

How Will Personal Genomics Impact Medical Device Design?

Among the implications for medical device designers: Everyone will be able to have their genome sequenced. This will be a boon to laboratory instrument designers as the market for sequencers grows. Preventive medicine will become personalized. This could create a market for devices that do early screening for specific diseases. Specialization will occur with regard [...]