Personalised medicine may be truly personal

A critical discovery may lead scientists studying personalized medicine in the US to abandon the use of broad conventional ethnic labels such as Caucasian and Hispanic to estimate a patient’s genetic risk of disease.

Researchers used confidentially provided DNA and plasma samples to aid in genomic and personalized medicine research and applied state-of-the-art genomic technology to it.

They determined the genetic make-up of nearly 1,000 participants and found a continuum in ancestral genetic heritage at the individual level meaning portions of their genome came from mixed ancestry. This resulting genetic variation skews what were thought to be the risk of developing various diseases.

The findings further validate the importance of considering the unique genotypes of individual patients rather than grouping them by self-reported ethnicity, one of the scientists in the study said.

Read more at PLoS ONE