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Recently there have been many advances in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics.  Now, in Los Angeles, we can sample a persons genome and utilize this information in a very positive way. New technologies constantly are being created to process DNA more rapidly and efficiently. The most advanced machines are categorized into a field know as “next generation sequencing. These machines use glass slides with embedded with the latest Nano-technology.  There are thousands of Nano-wells on every slide that attach to fragments of DNA. Next this slide is entered into a processing machine most commonly know as Illumina. This machine is able to piece all of the fragments of DNA back together attached at the Nano-wells.  Last it computes all of this information to reconstruct the entire genome of the DNA that the fragments came from.

Physicians offices most often do not have direct access to a next generation sequencing machine. However, many companies are now emerging that preform fast and simple sequencing.  Companies like 23andme allow patients, physicians, and any interested source the ability to have DNA read.  Not only will the DNA be read but also tag certain markers to show what genes their DNA is composed of.  These gene markers include: diseases the patient is prone to, carrier traits, drug reactions, phenotypic characteristics, and a genomic ancestry check.  These tools give the patient new methods to help prevent and treat diseases that are incorporated into their genome.

This can all be done through a patients saliva.  A patient has to collect a small aliquot of saliva into a test tube. Believe it or not saliva contains many copies of a patients DNA. Once the sample of saliva is taken the lab will run the DNA found in the sample through an Ilumina next generation sequencing machine.  They results are interpreted and then are easily accessible for the patient and physician.

Once physicians have this knowledge on a patient it gives many new outlooks into the way medicine should be treated.  Instead of blindly treating a patient, or not being able to prevent many serious diseases medical professionals can now use this information to extend the range of traditional Medicine.



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