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Personal Genetics Plusses

Knowing their genetic information could help people improve their lives and, possibly, avoid preventable deaths, writes 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki in the Guardian's Comment Is Free section. While she acknowledges that it will take years for researchers to uncover what all the billions of bases in the human genome do, she says that enough is currently known to help some people. For example, Wojcicki notes that about 8 percent of people of European descent have a variant that increases their risk for developing blood clots and that there are a number of strategies such people can take to reduce that danger.

She goes on to applaud UK Prime Minister David Cameron's initiative to sequence 100,000 people and create a national database. "This database alone will trigger tremendous understanding of the genome and fuel medical innovation," Wojcicki writes, adding that "the genetic revolution is here."