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article imageGenetic scan provides details of man's death

By Gordon K. Chan     May 3, 2010 in Health
A Stanford University professor had his genome sequence analyzed and discovered that he will likely die from a massive heart attack and at high risk for prostate cancer.
A DNA map of a college professor has showed him ways that he could die, reports News Daily.
Stephen Quake's genes were examined and revealed a high risk of dropping dead from sudden cardiovascular death due to rare variations in his genes, and a higher risk of prostate cancer. It also reported a very low risk of Alzheimer's, and his body would respond well to certain heart medications.
"I was curious what would show up," said Stephen Quake, a bioengineering professor at the university.
His interest extends beyond the possibilities of his death; Quake is also concerned about the "many ethical, educational and policy questions that need to be addressed going forward."
DNA mapping and the rapid availability of disease risk reporting will introduce important challenges for health-care systems and industry professionals.
Quake's genome sequence cost the Stanford team $50,000. A Heliscope sequencer was used initially and rechecked using an Illumina sequencer.
However, the costs of sequencing are become more affordable. $1000 screenings will be available soon, states the team leader of the study.
If this is the reality, then serious thought must be put toward the enormous amounts of patient information that will bombard health-care systems.
"Patients, doctors and geneticists are about to be hit by a tsunami of genome sequence data," says the director of Stanford Center for Law and Biosciences.
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