A new DNA tool created by Michigan State University can accurately predict people’s height, and more importantly, could potentially assess their risk for serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
For the first time, the tool, or algorithm, builds predictors for human traits such as height, bone density and even the level of education a person might achieve, purely based on one’s genome. But the applications may not stop there.
“While we have validated this tool for these three outcomes, we can now apply this method to predict other complex traits related to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer,” said Stephen Hsu, lead investigator of the study and vice president for research and graduate studies at MSU. “This is only the beginning.”
Further applications have the potential to dramatically advance the practice of precision health, which allows physicians to intervene as early as possible in patient care and prevent or delay illness.
The research, featured in the October issue of Genetics, analyzed the complete genetic makeup of nearly 500,000 adults in the United Kingdom using machine learning, where a computer learns from data.
In validation tests, the computer accurately predicted everyone’s height within roughly an inch. While bone density and educational attainment predictors were not as precise, they were accurate enough to identify outlying individuals who were at risk of having very low bone density associated with osteoporosis or were at risk of struggling in school.
Traditional genetic testing typically looks for a specific change in a person’s genes or chromosomes that can indicate a higher risk for diseases such as breast cancer. Hsu’s model considers numerous genomic differences and builds a predictor based on the tens of thousands of variations.
Using data from the UK Biobank, an international resource for health information, Hsu and his team put the algorithm to work, evaluating each participant’s DNA and teaching the computer to pull out these distinct differences.
“The algorithm looks at the genetic makeup and height of each person,” Hsu said. “The computer learns from each person and ultimately produces a predictor that can determine how tall they are from their genome alone.”
Hsu’s team will continue to improve the algorithms, while tapping into larger, more diverse data sets. Doing this would further validate the techniques and continue to help map out the genetic architecture of these important traits and disease risks.
With greater computing power and decreasing costs around DNA sequencing, what was once thought to be five to 10 years out, is now a lot closer when it comes to this type of work, Hsu added.
“Our team believes this is the future of medicine,” he said. “For the patient, a genomic test can be as simple as a cheek swab, with a cost of about $50. Once we calculate the predictors for genetically based diseases, early intervention can save billions of dollars in treatment costs, and more importantly, save lives.”
The Latest on: DNA tool
via Google News
The Latest on: DNA tool
- New CRISPR tool executes multiple edits simultaneously, leading to unique partnership to deliver cancer treatments on April 18, 2019 at 7:02 am
The tool can rapidly reproduce, in a human DNA sample, the unique and complex genetic features of an individual patient's cancer tumor. "We believe the breakthrough achieved in our in-vitro CRISPR ... […]
- After a shark’s bite, DNA kits could track down a culprit (or at least a species) on April 17, 2019 at 9:09 pm
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - University of Hawaii researchers are developing a new tool to help them learn more about sharks around the islands. They’ve created forensic kits to collect DNA when there ... […]
- Powerful CRISPR cousin accidentally mutates RNA while editing DNA target on April 17, 2019 at 2:02 pm
When researchers first reported 3 years ago that they had created base editors, a version of the powerful genome-editing tool CRISPR, excitement swirled around their distinct powers to more subtly ... […]
- Scientists created a CRISPR tool that can wipe out longer pieces of DNA on April 17, 2019 at 1:42 pm
It could allow researchers to delete long stretches of genetic code to better understand diseases. An international team of scientists have developed a new CRISPR-based, gene editing tool. The ... […]
- New CRISPR tool could eradicate viral diseases with long-range DNA shredding on April 17, 2019 at 10:18 am
An international team of scientists recently unveiled a new CRISPR-based tool capable of shredding long portions of targeted DNA strands. The new technique provides advantages over previous ... […]
- Maryland State Police Hit DNA Milestone on April 17, 2019 at 9:58 am
(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, today announced two more milestones for Maryland’s DNA database, supporting its role as an invaluable tool ... […]
- New combo software tool could provide answers to some of life’s most intriguing questions on April 17, 2019 at 6:30 am
What are the bacterial origins of human mitochondrial DNA? Do the DNA of a parasite and its host have a similar genomic signature? The tool also has the potential to positively impact the personalized ... […]
- Handheld DNA tester can quickly identify illegal shark fins on April 15, 2019 at 7:54 pm
These tools could be used to identify and track elephant ivory, pangolin scales, and other wildlife contraband, Johri says. DNA taken from elephant ivory intercepted by law enforcement has helped ... […]
- Genealogical DNA testing to be explained at Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois daylong conference on April 14, 2019 at 6:06 pm
"DNA: Tests, Tools and Tales" is the theme of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois' one-day conference on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. This ... […]
via Bing News