How Genetic Analyses Might Get to the Masses
February 28, 2017
(Scientific American) – For doctors trying to treat people who have symptoms that have no clear cause, gene-sequencing technologies might help in pointing them to a diagnosis. But the vast amount of data generated can make it hard to get to the answer quickly. Until a couple of years ago, doctors at US Naval Medical Research Unit-6 (NAMRU-6) in Lima had to send their sequence data to the United States for analysis, a process that could take weeks—much too long to make pressing decisions about treatment. “If all you could do was get the data that you then have to ship to the US, it’s almost useless,” says Mariana Leguia, who heads the centre’s genomics and pathogen-discovery unit.