Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Genetic Analysis, the Office Edition
Genomic Analysis, the Office Edition
By Anne Eisenberg
Block C odd
"Genomic Analysis, the Office Edition" an article by Anne Eisenberg, is about a new break through advancement in medical technology. This new technology called knoSYSTM100, created by Knome, is
essentially a file cabinet sized computer that creates an analysis of someone's genome. A genome is the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism. Previously, to analyze someone's genome, there would have to be a team of doctors that would have to take the data and then send it to far away via the internet, making the information public. Not only was this process expensive, but it risked the privacy of the patient. On top of the cost of the teams of doctors, the old process cost 250,000 dollars, now with the new appliance it cost only 6,000 dollars. Not only is it less expensive, but the information stays within the home network, eliminating violating the privacy of the patient. Each unit costs 125,000 dollars, plus an additional 25,000 dollars for tech support when needed. The machine works by having raw data downloaded unto a hard drive, and then transferred into the machine. The machine then classified the data put into it, the software can even tell a difference between a person's genome and the reference genome. Although then new technology has widely impacted the medical profession, it isn't ready for common usage quite yet.
This software helps detect which medications are best for specific people based on their genetics. The knoSYSTM100 turns tedious jobs, into quick and effective results. This software can now help identify mutations that are typically present with certain diseases. Or it can compare children's and parent's genomes to search for inherited diseases. It can even help with cancer genetics to look for specific disruptions that are driving a tumor. Once this machine becomes more common, it will save hundreds, if not thousands of lives.
I thought that his article was quite informative, and intriguing to read. Although it did not describe exactly how the machine worked. It also did not define many medical terms, which made it a bit hard to follow. That being said, I thought Anne Eisenberg did a lovely job writing an educational piece that stated fact and followed it with the professional opinions of many noteworthy doctors from the most prestigious schools in the country.