The Mayo Clinic is starting a pilot study to sequence patients in an effort to personalize their health care, reports Ian Sample at the Guardian. Patients will either have their entire genome, disease-related genes, or drug metabolism-related genes sequenced. "The project will help managers at the clinic decide whether it makes sense to read and store a patient's whole genome early on, instead of ordering single genetic tests as and when the need arises," Sample says.
"With piecemeal genetic testing you only test for what you know. The advantage of whole genome sequencing is that you go after everything," says Gianrico Farrugia, who directs the Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine. "Not only does that give you a fuller picture, but it allows you to draw complex interaction pathways that you cannot draw by going after select genes."