Published On: Fri, Nov 1st, 2013

Noam Shomron Aims To Bring DNA Testing For All Through Smartphone

Professor Shomron and his research team at Tel Aviv University are on the final stages of developing an application that will allow everyone to carry out their personal genetic analysis in seconds.

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The structure of part of a DNA/ Wikipedia

According to Professor Noam Shomron DNA testing through a personal Smartphone will very soon be just a download away, signaling a development that would have seemed totally incomprehensible just a few years ago.

According to Professor Shomron, the ability to carry out a genetic sequencing analysis within become a fairly common procedure, a few million light years away from when every experimentation on establishing DNA human beings involved in the budget of $3 billion and a research period of around eight years to sequence the human genome.

Since the early days of research into genetic engineering significant progress has been made, and currently any patient who has the finance or is eligible to receive DNA mapping for any reason way need to spend a few thousand dollars to get a full picture of their genetic map.

With interest in research on the subject growing at a tremendous pace , according to realistic estimates, the cost of a genetic sequencing trial carried out under professional supervision is liable to fall as low as $1, 000. Still a considerable sum for someone with just a passing interest on discovering more about their genetic characteristics.

Now according to Professor Shomron and his young and talented team of researchers at Tel Aviv University, the recently developed application GeneG will completely revolutionize the concept of genetic testing and generate the impetus to eventually completely change the face of medicine as it is known and drive it forward into a more personalized era.

Professor Shomron developed the GeneG application along with its backup website with able assistance from two Tel Aviv University graduate students on his research team, Ofer Isakov and Garson Celniker.

The GeneG application  and web site is shortly due to go through the next phase of its rolling out process when it will be opened to selected physicians for testing and final tweaking , before its public release.

Professor Shomron and his research team envisage a future where a member of the public who has undergone a genomic DNA sequence, will be given the ability to analyze it, through their Smartphone, making the once totally incomprehensible process of carrying out genetic analysis, at least for the layman, as simple as sending a text message or making a phone call.

Under current conditions, someone in need of the vital information that can only be derived from taking a DNA test at their local health clinic is required to present a separate sample of their DNA for each test. The reason for this long and laborious process, in most cases, is that health clinics that process the DNA currently are only capable of testing for only one specific item. This means specifically traveling to a health clinic to have blood drawn, often on more than one occasion, with all the discomfort and inconvenience that that causes. Add to that the fact it can take weeks before the results are issued.

Now, according to Professor Shomron, for the first time you can take your genome home and look at it whenever you want, essentially giving the public eyes to peer into their own unique genetics.

What the GeneG development will mean, in the eyes of Professor Shomron, when it becomes generally available, is that users will be able upload their genome to the GeneG site. Once online, the application will allow users to submit the information, in the standard VCF format which is commonly used for gene sequence variations to the various organizations such as National health institutions upturn including major research institutes such as Stanford University, and the European Bioinformatics Institute to undergo the standard digital genetic tests developed by organizations such as these.

DNA tests can be carried out in virtually hundreds of varieties used to diagnose diseases, ascertain the identity in the case of pregnant women identify specific genetic traits of the unborn baby such as hair and eye color, simply by clicking on a Smartphone screen.

With all that kind of information falling into public hands, albeit under total security and confidentially, in Professor Shomron’s opinion, the era of personalized medicine will rapidly follow.

And here that will bring rapid developments in pharmaceutical development where companies will be able to specifically compound medications in order to address problems on a patient to patient basis, enjoying direct access to their unique genetic data, and preventing the intake of particular elements contained in a specific medicine that could be potentially more harmful to the patient.

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