$1000 Genome Project
So if you could have your genome sequenced for $1000, would you? What could it tell you?
According to supporters of the technology, having such detailed knowledge of your own genome means that should you fall ill, drugs could be targeted to your specific genetic make up.
A $1000 genome analysis would also inform you about the relative risks associated with your likelihood of contracting serious genetic disorders such as breast cancer or heart disease. There may be a history of such illnesses in your family; genome analysis would reveal whether you have a genetic predisposition to suffer a similar fate.
As with any technological advance the $1000 genome, when it is ready, should come with cautions. There could be a danger that an individual could read too much into their genome. A diagnosis that you may have a genetic predisposition to a particular condition is nowhere near saying that you will actually get that condition, as there are so many factors that come into play, such as environment, lifestyle and diet. However, such a diagnosis may well act as a motivator. For example, if you are a smoker and the tests come back saying that you have an increased risk of lung cancer, you may take that as a big hint to kick the habit.
It's also worth re-iterating that a diagnosis of a predisposition to a disease is not confirming a date with the Grim Reaper. So people shouldn't throw their hands up in the air as if to say "well it's in my genes, there's nothing I can do about it." When the $1000 genome kit is available, the results should be analysed and interpreted with a skilled medical practitioner or genetic counsellor.