What's Hot in 2014: Genetic Testing
The rise and rise of genetic testing as a preventive healthcare measure will become more mainstream and accessible. As technology advances and costs plummet, genetic testing, like those offered by 23andme, will increasingly help determine your genetic risks for key diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s) so that you have time to take preventative action rather than waiting for symptoms to develop. My wife, 18 month old daughter and I all spit in a tube last week for $99 each…..welcome to the future! But are we ready for it? California startup 23andme—ordered by the US Food and Drug Administration in November to halt sales of its main genetic testing product for apparently failing to meet all the agency’s albeit cumbersome regulatory requirements—shows the difficulties in applying 20th century rules governing drugs and medical devices to today’s rapid advances in human genetics. The wheels of government turn slowly, but conflicts like this regarding genetic testing just could make them turn a bit faster. Stay tuned.