U-M Study: Genome Sequencing Useful, But Still A Way Off

Mar 17, 2015

The biggest challenge is finding a way to deal with the amount of data the sequencing creates.

A growing number of people want to know more about the role genetics will play in their personal health. 59 percent of individuals surveyed in a new University Of Michigan Health System study were interested in undergoing whole genome sequencing.

Whole genome sequencing examines a person's DNA and uses the information to provide details about current and future health risks. It is currently used to help find the cause of a patient's undiagnosed health condition.

Beth Tarini conducted the survey. She says genome sequencing is still in its early stages, but it could have an even bigger impact in the future. Tarini stated "the broader implications for the public is the possibility of identifying parts of your genome that may indicate you are at higher risk for developing more common diseases.

Tarini went on to state the challenge in the future is if researchers can harness the potential of this technology "to figure out what the data actually means for the average person."