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Longer Life?

With his company Human Longevity, Craig Venter wants to stave off death, CNBC writes.

The company offers a suite of genetic and other tests as part of its Health Nucleus offerings, which focus on uncovering cancer, neurodegenerative disease, heart issues, and metabolic conditions. According to CNBC, Venter claims the company's test has uncovered serious issues in 40 percent of patients who otherwise appeared healthy. "Thus far, for the first few thousands, we only saw people who considered themselves fully healthy," Venter tells CNBC. "They feel good, they look good, but we're finding detections [in them]."

Health Nucleus, though, is expensive. The Health Nucleus X program costs $4,950 for genome sequencing, a full-body MRI scan, and a few other tests, plus $2,950 a year for follow up. The more extensive Health Nucleus X Platinum program — which includes bone density scanning, electrocardiogram, microbiome analysis, and more — can cost an initial $25,000 plus $6,000 a year for follow up after the included two years. According to the company's website, Health Nucleus services are not covered by insurance, leaving it out of reach for most people.

Earlier this month, Venter and his colleagues reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on using a precision medicine strategy to screen for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions in 209 people without any symptoms. They found that most, 78 percent of that group, had increased risk of developing one or more of the conditions they tested for.

As GenomeWeb's Turna Ray points out in a tweet whether this approach improves survival as compared to the standard of care remains to be explored.