How does Genetic Testing help people?
Genetic Testing essentially unboxes the mystery of our DNA. The human body is made of several trillions of cells and is made up of thousands of genes. It often plays an important role in overall health too. As a result, genetic research plays an important role in detection, prevention and/or treatment of diseases which are caused by genetic abnormalities and mutations.
In today’s scenario, curing an ailment is no longer magical or mystical. In fact, we know that accurate diagnostic is the key to right therapy. With a growing population every year, the burden of genetic diseases is very high. Many diseases can be predicted with great accuracy if genetic testing is done at the appropriate stage.
How does Genetic Testing work?
What Genetics testing essentially does is it provides information about a person’s genes and chromosomes, and by analyzing them properly we can use it for our advantage. Available types of testing include: New-born screening, Diagnostic testing, Carrier testing, Prenatal testing, Pre-implantation testing, Predictive and pre-symptomatic testing, Forensic testing and many more.
The science behind these innovations is simple – finding more and more applications of genetics and incorporating it in daily life in a cost effective way. So the key is doing more research and studies and using the same for day to day lifestyle applications.
Perception of Genetic Testing in India:
In India it is still a new concept, focusing mainly on diseases like cancer and other extreme diseases. Patients are being more and more proactive towards their health care and that has driven the labs and hospital towards innovation. Healthcare industry has embraced some of the applications of genetic testing for diagnostic and disease prevention and thus solving many problems. There are about 20+ hospitals and labs doing research work on many extreme diseases. Apart from that, there are a number of start-ups working on personal genomics and DNA sequencing.
The Relation between Nutrition, Fitness and Genetics:
Genetics is largely about likelihood, akin to a weather forecast predicting a 60% probability of rain, which means that given the evidence, chances of rain are higher, although there is a 40% chance that it may not rain. However, not all genetics is like that. Certain genetic conditions called monogenic conditions carry cent per cent likelihood. In certain other conditions, it varies between 99% to 1%. Scientists often combine the likelihood of multiple genes to increase the certainty of likelihood for a certain event. The proper way to interpret genetic likelihood is to develop your awareness of your inborn susceptibilities and tendencies and verify them through other pieces of information to the extent possible, acting on the side of caution.
Challenges faced to take genetics to the next level:
People aren’t able to comprehend how important this is for their body and the shaping of their future health conditions. People are hesitant about genetic tests and research but the rate of adoption is improving in our country.
Genetics has opened a floodgate for a number of possibilities. Every player is using different applications of it to tap into the ocean of opportunities of genetic industry.
Procedure to conduct Genetic tests:
Gene testing can be done in several ways. Technology has reached an advanced stage where the needle of an injection doesn’t even have to touch the person’s body or the person has to undergo a considerable amount of time in a scanning machine. It can be done even through a small amount of a saliva sample.
The saliva sample can be put in a testing kit and the kit to be sealed. This can be then processed in the labs and then the results can be obtained which helps to study the different genes in a human body. Different Genes represent different functions and can be used to analyze different diseases.
Written by the Founders at The Gene Box, a Mumbai based Gene Testing company helping people use DNA test results to live a healthier and safer life.