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Data Gathering

As more people undergo genetic analysis, researchers and doctors may be able to identify patterns that enable them to predict and perhaps prevent disease to make medicine more personalized, PBS NewsHour reports.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are developing a large biorepository for the National Institutes of Health's All of Us program, which aims to sequence the genomes of 1 million people in the US, it notes. Through that, researchers hope to enable more personalized medicine by knowing who is at increased risk for certain diseases and what treatment approaches might be best for those particular individuals if they do fall ill. 

"It's going to be an amazing tool for scientists and researchers for years, decades to come," Keith Stewart, who runs the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic, tells PBS NewsHour.

PBS NewsHour notes that genetic testing can already identified people who are at high risk of developing certain diseases, such as finding people with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations who are more likely to develop breast and other cancers. But, it also notes that people using direct-to-consumer genetic testing services need be careful, especially if they turn to third-party websites to analyze their data. Results, it says, may need to be confirmed.