Monday, 11 October 2010

What's your BRCA status? Personal Genomics testing.

Do-it-yourself genetic testing
   How to test your BRCA status and why we need to prepare for the personal genomics age.
Genome Biology 2010, 11:404

Interesting read covering issues on personal genomics. Did you know that “the BRCA gene patents, which are held by Myriad Genetics, cover all known cancer-causing mutations in addition to those that might be discovered in the future.” How did that one slip through the patent office?? Not that it really matters “Currently Myriad charges more than $3000 for its tests on the BRCA genes, while sequencing one's entire genome now costs less than $20,000. Furthermore, once an individual's genome has been sequenced, it becomes a resource that can be re-tested as new disease-causing mutations are discovered. “

“Regardless of how easy it might be to test for mutations, the restrictive nature of the BRCA gene patents means that anyone wishing to examine any mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 will have to obtain permission from the patent holder Myriad Genetics. This restriction applies even if testing your own genome. If you wanted to look at other genes, you would have to pay license fees for any of them that were protected by patents. In practice, although it may seem absurd, this means that before scanning your own genome sequence, you might be required by law to pay thousands of license fees to multiple patent holders. “

This is complete hogwash! ( the concept that I have to pay genome-squatters (see cybersquatters) in the human genome, I would much rather pay for real estate on the moon! )

related posts
US clinics quietly embrace whole-genome sequencing @ Nature News
Commentary on Personal Genomics testing

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