Big Brother’s technology meets eugenics? Gene data for all ‘within a decade’

SOURCE

Genetic information will be available to most people in the developed world within 10 years, allowing better treatment and safer prescription of drugs.

Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health, believes mass genome sequencing of individuals would soon be possible at a cost of less than $1,000 per person (£670).

In an interview with The Times to mark the 10th anniversary of the sequencing of the human genome, he said bespoke genetic health care would identify those with a higher inherited risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer and reduce the diseases though drug treatment, early screening or diet and exercise.

Dr Collins told the newspaper: “Certainly within ten years I will be very surprised and very disappointed if most people in the developed world will not have their genomes sequenced as part of their medical record, and I would hope it will come even sooner.”

“The cost of sequencing is dropping … and I can’t believe it won’t drop to less than $1,000 within five years. Will that become the moment when it becomes compelling to do it for everyone?”

“There would be no need to take more blood samples; it’s just a click of your mouse to know whether that drug dose ought to be adjusted, or whether there’s a risk of a nasty side effect.”

It comes after The Sunday Telegraph revealed that geneticists believe malfunctioning genes behind major diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes, can provide clues that will help pinpoint the causes.

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