Eye on DNA Headlines

Eye on DNA Links for 9 January 2009

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted January 9, 2009 in Eye on DNA Headlines

Thanks to the following sites for linking to Eye on DNA recently! It’s good to be back.

Also, congratulations to Dr. Val on her move to Better Health. Check out her interview with Dr. Joanne Armstrong, senior medical director for Aetna, and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, about the current state of genetic testing. Here’s an excerpt:

Dr. Val: In your view, what are some legitimate and appropriate genetic tests?

Dr. Armstrong: There are about 1200 genetic tests available now, and most of them are not medically appropriate or clinically valid. “Medically appropriate” tests have a few common characteristics: 1) they have to be useful for the direct treatment or prevention of an illness. Some tests on the market are medically trivial – they test for things like eye color for example. 2) The information from the test should affect the course of treatment of the disease or condition, and 3) treatment should improve the outcome of the disease.  Those are the characteristics of a genetic test that would be useful or appropriate in a healthcare setting.

There are 100s of useful and appropriate tests, and they’re used for the prediction of diseases like hereditary colon cancer, breast cancer and its recurrence, and metabolic diseases that affect people as infants.

(2 comments)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 30 April 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted April 30, 2008 in Eye on DNA Headlines

  • Scienceblogs Gene Expression hosts Gene Genie #30.
  • Thank you to the Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) Messenger for sharing Eye on DNA with its readers!
  • dna-blue-skyDNA inspires not just scientists but artists too. Check out Digital 3d Art created by a “quantum theoretician involved in studying life at a molecular particle level.”
  • Are we in for another Myriad genetic test ad uproar? Identigene (more from Eye on DNA), sellers of over-the-counter paternity tests, have hired STG Media Corp to create TV, print, and radio ads that will “not only inform consumers that the product is out there, but that will also demonstrate that the product actually works.”
  • A “major television network” (I can vouch for their authenticity) is looking for people to interview. Here’s what they sent me:

    For an upcoming series on genetic testing, a major television network would like to interview a person who has ordered an online gene test to assess their future risk of getting certain diseases. Twelve complaints have been filed with the california Dept of Health and the New York State Dept of Health has sent letters explaining the legal ramifications of testing New York residents without the proper clinical laboratory permit. Most of these complaints are anonymous. Would anyone speak on-camera to their issues and share their personal experience ordering one of these tests and getting the results? Please call 917 991 3689 or write to Theodora12@gmail.com.

(>> Start a discussion!)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 15 April 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted April 15, 2008 in DNA Testing, Eye on DNA Headlines

  • Please welcome The Skeptical Alchemist and Think Gene to The DNA Network. They are the Network’s 51st and 52nd members!
  • Andrew Meyer of Buzzyeah has been going through his 23andMe results and was also featured in this week’s Newsweek article – May We Scan Your Genome?
  • DNATraits is offering a discount on their Ashkenazi Jews Genetic Disease Package in celebration of Passover this month. (HT: Tracing the Tribe)
  • DNA Direct* has partnered with Navigenics to offer their members further medical diagnostic tests for specific medical conditions.
  • Tickets are now on sale for Xconomy Forum: Boston Life Sciences 2028 scheduled for April 29 from 6:00 – 8:30 pm at Harvard Medical School. Nobel Prize-winning MIT biologist Phil Sharp, Flagship Ventures managing partner and CEO Noubar Afeyan, and Raju Kucherlapati, scientific director, Harvard Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics, and professor of genetics and medicine, Harvard Medical School, will be leading the discussion.

dna graffiti

*I work with DNA Direct as a genetic information specialist.

(>> Start a discussion!)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 11 April 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted April 11, 2008 in Eye on DNA Headlines

  • The MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) will be hosting DNA for Dollars: Featuring 23andMe, Kleiner Perkins, MDV, and more at Stanford Business School on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 6:00 pm.
  • The DNA Network Custom Search Engine has been updated and now includes all 50 member sites.
  • pulitzerCongratulations to New York Times reporter Amy Harmon on her Pulitzer Prize for The DNA Age series of articles on “the impact of genetic technology on American life.”
  • Congratulations also to TR Gregory at Genomicron on his one-year blogging anniversary!
  • Lee Lofland, author of Police Procedure and Investigation, A Guide for Writers shares Things Writers Should Know about DNA. I just have on nitpicky point about the DNA fact that “identical twins have identical DNA”…erm, not quite .
  • Health Content Advisors discusses the role of genetic counselors as healthcare intermediaries.

(>> Start a discussion!)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 7 April 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted April 7, 2008 in Eye on DNA Headlines

(1 comment)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 28 March 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted March 28, 2008 in DNA Testing, Eye on DNA Headlines, Jobs Involving DNA

(>> Start a discussion!)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 23 March 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted March 23, 2008 in Eye on DNA Headlines

(1 comment)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 10 March 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted March 10, 2008 in Eye on DNA Headlines

(2 comments)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 28 February 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted February 28, 2008 in Eye on DNA Headlines

  • Thanks to Berci at ScienceRoll for hosting Grand Rounds 4.22: The Future of Medicine.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Eisen at The Tree of Life! He’s the new Academic Editor in Chief of PLoS Biology.
  • Congratulations also to my employer, DNA Direct . The company has closed $7 million in Series B financing. More from DNA Direct’s official blog. (Press release below the fold.)
  • The Johns Hopkins Genetics and Public Policy Center (GPPC) is holding a series of public town hall meetings to gather opinions on biobanks for the effects of studying genetic and environmental factors on health. Register to attend at http://www.dnapolicy.org.

    *March 8 – Kansas City, MO
    *April 5 – Phoenix, AZ
    *April 19 – Jackson, MS
    *April 24 – Portland, OR
    *May 13 – Philadelphia, PA

  • Kevin Kelly at The Quantified Self has some interesting insights into studying our own genomes in Wiki Your Genes.

    If a third-party vendor were to start selling the naked chip’s data for a small fee above its costs, it would be possible to do a large personal sequence using one of these tests and managing your data using open-source wiki technology like SNPedia. Hard-core recreational genomist could probably do a better job than either 23andMe or Decode are doing right now.

    Could you be a hardcore recreational genomist?

dna strands

Continue reading…

(>> Start a discussion!)


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Eye on DNA Headlines for 22 February 2008

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted February 22, 2008 in DNA Testing, Eye on DNA Headlines

  • dna moleculeThe genetic testing market is getting so crowded I’ll have to start elbowing people aside. Genetic genealogy company Family Tree DNA has launched DNATraits which “specializes in DNA testing to identify genetic disorders and susceptibility to inherited diseases and characteristics.” Blaine at The Genetic Genealogist and Daniel at Genetic Future have more on this new launch. (NB: I work for competitor DNA Direct.)
  • Welcome to the 47th member of The DNA Network – Dr. Simon Lin of Retail Genomics.
  • Three interesting genetics websites to check out: Check Your Genes, Responsible Genetic Testing, and YourGenome.org. Check Your Genes focuses on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing for people with a significant family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. (HT: Derek) Responsible Genetic Testing focuses on direct-to-consumer advertising for genetic testing. YourGenome.org is from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and is a genetics 101 website good for basic info. (HT: Thomas)
  • While NBC Nightly News ran their series on DNA, ABC’s Nightline did their own piece on 23andMeCracking the Genetic Code.
  • Webcasts are now available from the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society met in Washington on February 12-13, 2008 to discuss genetic testing. Excerpt from Pharmacogenomics Reporter (does anyone have access and can email me their article?):

    The HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Genetics, Health, and Society said that a “mandatory, publicly available, web-based registry … would offer the best approach to address the information gaps” regarding lab-developed genetic tests. But it stressed that “unresolved issues, including practical and legal questions,” must be answered before the government can decide “how and where to implement the registry.”

(>> Start a discussion!)


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