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Nature vs Nurture (vs Junk)

7 Sep

The battle has long raged over the impact of nature (in the form of genetics) vs Nurture (in the form of environmental factors) on an individual’s susceptibility to disease. Clearly both play a huge part in deciding the expressed phenotype, but scientists always struggled to explain the variation in phenotype found between identical genomes even in the same lab conditions or between twins raised in the same household.

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Pride in the IDBS badge

26 Jan

Friday January 20, 2012 was a proud day for the Healthcare team at IDBS as our new US Healthcare Center of Excellence was opened by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in front of a crowd of local dignitaries, press and analysts, customers and, of course, our employees.

Gov Deval Patrick

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Welcome to 2012: The year of personalized medicine?

11 Jan

2012 may not be the year that genetics is routinely used in making clinical decisions in every hospital but it promises to be a pivotal year for personalized medicine. The rapidly dropping cost of genome sequencing, now around $4000 per person and the growing availability of electronic patient data is providing a huge opportunity to improve patient outcomes and reduce the incidence of adverse drug events.

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Better patient outcomes analysis critical to address rising cost of cancer treatment

27 Sep

I read with interest yesterday’s report in the Lancet highlighting the spiralling global costs of cancer treatment, with 12 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide costing £185bn ($295bn) per year. The report goes on to say that most developed countries are spending between 4% and 7% of their healthcare budgets just on treating cancer.

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UK Begins Nationwide Personalised Medicine Programme

13 Sep

I’ve really enjoyed seeing the Cancer Research UK Stratified Medicine Programme getting so much coverage around the globe. This initiative will blaze the trail for the wider adoption of genetic testing to support diagnosis and treatment of various cancers including breast, colorectal, lung, prostate, ovarian and skin cancer.

The 2 year program will see 9,000 samples and associated clinical data systematically captured and genetically tested for known cancer variants with a view to building a comprehensive warehouse of cancer data. This will then form a research resource to better understand the genetic basis for diagnosis and disease treatment, and in the future support clinical decision-making.

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