The Genetic Testing Landscape
As a scientific discipline, there has been a great deal of activity in the area of genetic testing over the past few years. Prior to this expansion of understanding, genetic testing was often done with little or no information about the individual tested. DNA testing is now considered one of the most important areas of medicine due to its incredible accuracy and ability to provide definitive answers to some of the most challenging questions of modern society. However, with the explosion of genetic technologies and the tools that are used to interpret and perform these tests, certain gaps in the landscape of genetic testing have emerged. By mapping the relationships and events leading up to and following the results of genetic testing, we can begin to understand the many different dimensions and factors that contribute to the process of genetic testing.
One of the most exciting aspects of genetic science is the emergence of whole-genome sequencing. This technology, which was once only available to hospitals and research laboratories, has enabled researchers to examine every aspect of human existence by sequencing the genome. Now, anyone with a genetic disease can take part in the study of genetic diseases by sequencing their own DNA.
Another emerging science that has emerged from the sequencing of the genome in the field of genomics, which pertains to the study of genetic variation within organisms. By examining the variations between pairs of identical twins, for instance, scientists can determine the cause and origin of specific disorders and traits. However, the applications of genomics are not limited to identifying disease based on genetic differences. By sequencing a person’s entire genome, scientists have been able to map the effects of environmental factors such as diet and stress on the health of an individual.
Molecular imaging has also played a large role in the development of genetic science. This technology enables researchers to capture a single cell in a test subject in order to observe its movement, size, and shape. This information, in combination with the information provided by molecular imaging software, has led to a revolution in molecular biology research. By deciphering the code of this cellular machinery, scientists can more easily identify and understand the function of thousands of genes, many of which are vital to human health and well-being. However, the sequencing of DNA has made it possible to perform molecular imaging with a much higher level of precision than was once possible.
Next, there are sequencing technologies. Originally developed for medical purposes, these newer technologies are now being used to investigate every aspect of human life. For example, whole-genome sequencing has enabled scientists to map the function of every single gene in a human body. They have mapped the function of the eye, the heart, the immune system, the brain, and nearly every other organ in the body. The sequencing of DNA has enabled scientists to study how the human genome changes over time, how it is affected by environmental factors, and how it related to the disease. The sequencing of DNA has also made it possible to discover whether the genetic architecture of humans is changing with time and whether this is causing increasing genetic diversity or increasing differentiation.
As the science of genetic testing has advanced, so too has the method of interpreting the results of genetic testing. For example, in the case of genetic testing of DNA, the result often requires a certain type of enzymatic method to identify the specific sequence of letters that creates the DNA molecule. Because of the complexity of the task, automated DNA sequencers have been developed. These machines can read the DNA sequences without human assistance and do it in a fraction of the time it would take a researcher. The creation of the genetic testing landscape continues to change the way that medical professionals interpret genetic testing results.
Interested in genetic testing?
Scientific advances reinforce the ever-growing need for genetic testing. Vita’s Vision: To provide all individuals with genetic testing options (Test.), facilitate understanding of personal genetics (Know.), accelerate learning and interpretation of personal genetics (Educate.), create an actionable implementation of genetic knowledge (Advocate.).
Our ultimate goal or mission is to make personalized medicine accessible for every person and their family, and we plan to accomplish this goal through our vision.
Ready to join us on our Mission? Learn more about your personal and family genetic makeup and personalized medicine options through our genetic test offerings. These include:
Even better news, with qualifying insurance, this test can cost you nothing out of pocket. Click here to schedule a call with one of Vita Medical’s Patient Services Consultants to find out your eligibility.
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