•   almost 6 years ago

How does Genome Link work?

The technology and information presented are very interesting. I've poked through the test user data as well, thanks for that.

My question is about genome sequencing as it related to this software. As I understand, while we've finally decoded the genome we still are unclear about how it all works together. How is Genome Link able to say that "I like red wine" or that "i'm predisposed to breast cancer" or that "I'll have red hair". Some of those seem more straightforward traits (red hair), some seem like maybe a complex relationship of traits (cancer) and some seem difficult to ascertain how many genes or which ones may be involved in how much I like red wine.

How did you guys settle on these particular traits for the API? How accurate are they? And what is next for the API - what other information will be opened to devs over the next 6, 12, 18 months?

I realize some of these may not be possible to answer right now, but I love the technology and appreciate the information. thanks.


  • 1 comment

  • Manager   •   almost 6 years ago

    Hi Bryan,

    You've highlighted a number of important points driving the current direction of research in genomics. I would say the bulk of genomics research done so far has been to draw *correlation* between certain phenotypic traits and certain genes (or more precisely, SNPs, which are specific foci in the genome where there is high variation among humans). Some of them are further backed up by other genomics or molecular biology studies that confirm the genetic *causation* and/or identify contributing lifestyle factors. However, science has not yet gotten a good grasp of how all the genetic and environmental factors interact to produce that trait, and therefore there are few quantitative models that can accurately predict our traits. I wish we had more accurate methods, but that's where the science is at right now.

    To answer your question, whether you'd like red wine is determined by the result of genome-wide association studies. This is a research method where the genome of those who report liking red wine are compared against those who don't. If the two group have different nucleotides (DNA letters) that are statistically significant at certain SNPs across the genome, the research paper concludes that these SNP variations are correlated with this trait. So in these types of studies, *correlation*, and not *causation* is drawn out. When someone's genome data has the nucleotide associated with "red wine liking" at the specific SNPs, we can say that they have a genetic tendency to like red wine.

    We are still expanding the API, based on the needs of our enterprise clients and devs we are working with. We are always open to suggestions though!

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