Frequently asked questions

1What is Genetic Testing and how will it help me as a patient?
DNA or genetics is your unique identity that influences every aspect like behaviour, looks, response to medications, onset of disease, rate of progress of diseases and what type of physical exercises would be most effective for weight loss or good health. No two people have the same DNA (except identical twins) which is why you may seem to be losing less weight than your friend with whom you have been walking every day or why you feel an energy surge after eating certain foods but your friend doesn’t.As it is aptly stated ‘Forewarned is forearmed’, finding out about your genetic makeup using genetic testing will prove to be a better predictor of your life ahead. Genetic tests will help you and your physician by assessing the risk for conditions that are fully or partially inherited, giving you an effective course of action, personalized nutrition (Nutritional Genetics), precision medicine (Pharmacogenetics) and personalized preventive healthcare, eliminating the need for unnecessary clinical tests, providing insights into the type of food habits that would best suit you, and how to create an effective training regimen to achieve peak fitness while reducing injuries.
2Is it a test designed, conducted and reported in India?
Yes, the test has been designed, conducted and reported in India so they are relevant to Indian genetic makeup.
3Who conducts the test and reports it?
The genetic testing panel is designed and procured by Xcode Life Sciences, a personal genomics company based in India. Reports are generated by Xcode and presented to clients throughout India and abroad.
4How can I avail the test? And how is it done?
The test can be opted for in any of the associated Medical Centres. The genetic test is a one-time, non-invasive saliva based test. The saliva sample should be collected as per the procedure prescribed in the saliva kit and returned. The report will be available both as a soft and as well as a printed copy.
5How many days will it take to receive my report?
The reports will be delivered in about 3-4 weeks.
6 How do I seek counseling to understand my report and who will do it?.
A qualified counselor at Xcode Life Sciences will provide an over-the-phone consultation to help you interpret the report and provide specific recommendations based on the results of your test.
7What do I do with the information in my report?
The genetic reports are easy to understand and will serve as your guide to best health practices. You can refer to these reports regularly and incorporate suitable changes like alterations in your diet and nutrition, modifying lifestyle and occupational habits for better health outcomes. Your health care provider will have a better about your health and will design treatment plans that are tailor made for you.
8How are the results for my test derived?
You saliva sample is used to carry out certain genetic tests called genotyping using internationally recognized and reliable technology such as Real Time Polymerase Chain reactions and DNA hybridization techniques.
9If I am in the high risk group, does that mean that I already have the disease?
The onset of the disease is not determined by the genetic analysis done by us. Regular screening by a qualified medical professional will help you assess the status of your health at a particula How do I seek counseling to understand my report and who will do it?.r time.
10Is it possible to change DNA using medical science?
No. The DNA/Genes cannot be changed or modified. However, lifestyle modifications and other preventive measures can impact help the situation if the gene is expressed.
11If the DNA is analyzed of one of my family members, why do I need to analyse the DNA of the others as well?
Each human being has a unique genetic make-up and there are no two people who can ever have the same code, other than identical twins. Thus each member of the family has an exclusive genetic profile, with individual susceptibility / resistance to a disease, although, certain characteristics within the family may be identical.
12If I am going to get the disease anyway, what is the use of finding out?
An early detection will help incorporate intervention strategies that could limit the intensity of the disease. Moreover, advancements in science promises better strategies and being informed about the risk for diseases will aid in being better prepared. Genetic testing will prevent misdiagnosis and save money and time spent on treating conditions that may not really exist.
13If new diseases are found to be related to genes, will I be required to take a fresh test?
Storing your DNA is an expensive process and it is much more practical to give fresh sample in the eventuality that there are important breakthroughs, particularly in the case of "high risk" conditions.
14How do I know that the results are accurate?
The test protocols and the equipment we use is world class and it eliminates human error. The procedure and the methods of testing are as per International Standards. Thus, it is unlikely that there may be errors.
15How will my doctor use the information in my report?
The report is an invaluable tool for your doctor. This will let your doctor tailor make your treatment plan that caters to your specific needs and requirements.
16Will I pass on my genetic characteristics to my children?
You will pass on some of your genetic characteristics to your children.
17 If my child is shown to have a higher risk/lower risk for a certain disease, will that mean that me or my spouse share that same risk?
A child manifesting a particular risk profile would indicate its inheritance from either/ both the parents. However, certain genetic characteristics may be due to mutations in the child that were not acquired from the parent.
18How is Color Genomics different than 23andMe?
Your genome is a your complete book, which is about 3GB long.
Companies like 23&me, color and others are like photocopy service providers (for simplicity's sake)
Option A: Full Scan (scanning the entire book) = Whole Genome Sequencing
You can pay some one to photocopy (scan) your entire genome -
This is Whole Genome Sequencing, which is the most expensive (~1000 USD).
But remember that >95% of human DNA is considered to be junk DNA, meaning we don’t understand it fully yet.
If you are considering whole genome sequencing, you may want to wait for a couple of years by when the price is expected to come down to $250 or so
Option B: Partial Scan (scanning select chapters) =Exome Sequencing
You pay someone to only read those passages from the genome whose meaning is to some degree known, at least for specific applications like cancer.
This is used in specific applications like what color does. Cost = ~200–300 USD
Option C: Word Scans (Scanning specific words for spelling errors) = Exome genotyping.
This is like holding a handheld scanner and scanning specific words in the genome. It turns out that many of the known features in the genome are specific spelling errors in genetic words and understanding those gives your various physiological inights. This is what 23&me does.
This costs ~100 USD today, with the costs expected to come down further in future
Analogy two:
Imagine your genome as a film negative of your physical and physiological movie.
You can decide to develop the entire film (Option A above)
You can decide to develop parts of the movie that are interesting (Option B)
You can decide to develop specific frames in the film (Option C)
19How do I find the best diet for me?
You can only do that by analyzing your body with molecular tests such as blood tests and genetic tests and understanding the unique metabolic response of your body to various macro and micro nutrients. All other answers will be generic- they may have worked for some, but will not work for many others.
Doling out “standard” nutrition advice is like saying the national average height is 5′10″ , so everyone should go out and buy 30 size pants. There are some general principles, of course, such as overall calorie deficit is beneficial and lowering sugar intake can’t hurt, but that’s about it.
Please start understanding your body through the advanced tools that are available today. If you think cost is a constraint, don’t forget that in the long run you would have cumulatively lost a lot more money by trying many fad diets and programs and not much to show for it. According to this very large study by King’s College, London, 99% of people attempting to lose weight are unsuccessful over a 10 year period. In other words, long term weight loss is nearly impossible using the current “generic or standard” methods.
Please start understanding your body at the molecular level. Tests are available for you to do this from various sources and only consult with practitioners who have the most updated knowledge.
(I will create a separate post on the menu of tests and in what way these can help you in understanding your body.)
Hope this helps.
20I have done a genetic test with another genetics company, can you use that data to provide me a report?
Yes, we can provide you a report on our products using genetic data from other companies. However, we would first need to examine the markers covered in that report to let you know if a detailed report is possible based on the markers covered in that report. For the most part, we are able to generate reports with data from international companies like 23&me, DNA Ancestry, Decodeme, and indian companies like Datar genetics, Positive Biosciences, Mapmygenome, among others. You can send us the data file that you received from the test provider and we will analyze and get back to you within 48 hours.