Inspiring words from NIH director Francis Collins.
Posts Tagged ‘personalized medicine’
I just read a great article in Science Insider discussing the recent report by the National Research Council that recommends the establishment of a massive database combining patient medical records with genomic information related to their disease.
Aside from being informative, the review by Science is actually quite helpful to the general public since the report is only available for a fee! Nonetheless, a quick google search netted me a copy of the report in brief which can be read here.
I won’t go into the details of the article, (that is for you to read), however,
after reading the article in brief, (ie the free version), I truly believe that the committee’s recommendations are correct. Due to the complexity and volume of data needing to be analyzed, an open access philosophy that allows for unfettered access to ALL data types will certainly help revolutionize our approach to personalized medicine.
George Church, who it may be argued is the father of personalized genomics, spoke at TEDMED about the future of personal genomics and what research has yielded so far. Ironically, when he gave this talk one year ago in October of 2010, a google search of the term “synthetic personal genomes” did not yield any results (according to Dr. Church). The same search done today returns over 900,000 results! Obviously George continues to be light years ahead of the crowd. Have a look at the video below and see for yourself.
In a feat of technology tweaking that would rival MacGyver, a team of researchers from the University of California, Davis has transformed everyday iPhones into medical-quality imaging and chemical detection devices. With materials that cost about as much as a typical app, the decked-out smartphones are able to use their heightened senses to perform detailed microscopy and spectroscopy. The team will present their findings at the Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2011, taking place in San Jose, Calif. Oct. 16-20.
The enhanced iPhones could help doctors and nurses diagnose blood diseases in developing nations where many hospitals and rural clinics have limited or no access to laboratory equipment. In addition to bringing new sensing capabilities where they are needed most, the modified phones are also able transmit the real-time data to colleagues around the globe for further analysis and diagnosis.
“Field workers could put a blood sample on a slide, take a picture, and send it to specialists to analyze,” says Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, a physicist with UC Davis’ Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Center for Biophotonics, Science and Technology, and lead author of the research to be presented at FiO.
George Church, the talented genetic professor, has made headlines once again. We are very fond of George Church and have written about him and his work several times in the past (see: George Church: The Father of Personalized Genomics, New tools for rewriting the code of life and A Scientific Legend’s Approach to Solving Problems and Developing Technologies).
The latest article, appearing in The Boston Globe, talks about Dr. Church’s approach to synthetic biology and his “broad brush” approach of editing bacterial genomes to devise powerful new technologies.