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A 5' flanking region of the metallothionein, MT2A, gene identifies two moderately frequent RFLPs.

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  • Biology
  • Medicine


untitled JAMA PATIENT PAGE Genomic Medicine Genomic medicine, sometimes also known as personalized medicine, is a way tocustomize medical care to your body’s unique genetic makeup. Each of the cellsin the body contains DNA, the molecules you inherit from your parents that determine how your body looks and functions. DNA is arranged like a twisted ladder, with information stored in the arrangement, or sequence, of the rungs. Sections of the DNA ladder that contain information needed to make proteins are known as genes. The entire structure is the genome. A nearly complete map of the DNA sequence was completed in 2003, and since then, scientists have worked to understand how each gene functions and how it is coordinated with every other gene. The human genome may contain 20 000 to 23 000 genes. WHAT IS GENOMIC MEDICINE? Everyonerespondstostressandtheenvironmentdifferently,andtheyalsorespondtodisease and to treatments differently. Although greater than 99%of a DNA sequence is identical fromperson toperson, the last 1%helps toexplain thesedifferences.Differentpeoplemay have small variations in specific genes, and somepeoplemayhavegenes thatothersdonot. Thesemay increase susceptibility toa specific diseaseorprovideprotection fromthat illness. Scientists continue todiscovernewways that subtlegenedifferences cause largedifferences inhealth. This understanding can lead tobetterways toprevent, diagnose, and treatmany types of health conditions. Genomicmedicinedescribestheseefforts.Althoughgenomicmedicine isearly indevelopment, some areas where it has shown promise include • Risk assessment—for instance, women with a BRCA genemutation (variation) are at higher risk of developing breast cancer than those without the mutation. • Early detection—individuals with mutations in genes that increase risk of colon cancer benefit from earlier and more frequent screening for colon cancer. • Diagnosis—for some types of heart disease, detection of a gene mutation can lead to diagnosis and treatment that

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