Genechip or microarray technology is now fairly internationaly established as a reserach tool. Now we are seeing it move more into the public domain, specifically individual genome analysis providing ancestry and disease risk assessment for the price of $US1000.
As the article points out, there is still a grey area when it comes to interpreting the phenotypic outcome of these “SNPs”. i.e. will this SNP cause disease X?. You may have a SNP that promotes cancer , but is this rendered ineffective by tumour suppressing genes. Furthermore alot of phenotypic outcomes are determined by multiple genes (e.g. height) and different changes in gene regulation (things thats aren’t picked up necessary by this type of genome analysis). Basically, due to its complexity there is still alot not known about how the genome is manifested.
The article concludes pointing out some grim realities – health insurance companies getting hold our your genetic analysis and basing your premiums on this.
Further to these type of new services being provided, I came across something complementary. Making art out of your genome analysis – a must for all egocentric scientist.
DNA art – http://www.dna11.com/