1What is Genetic Testing and how will it help me ?
DNA or genetics is your unique identity that influences every aspect of yours like behavior, looks, response to medications, onset of disease, rate of progression of diseases and what type of physical exercises would be most effective for weight loss among other aspects. 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 share the same diet plan and workout routine.
Genetic testing or DNA testing can help you in many ways. Your nutrition has a huge impact on your short term and long term health. We are all similar but not the same when it comes to food metabolism. So, understanding our food metabolic profile such as Gluten Intolerance, celiac, Lactose Intolerance, fat and carb metabolism among several other aspects. You can read more about the various genetic tests we offer and the usefulness of each of those at this link https://www.xcode.in/.
2Where is the test conducted and data analyzed?
Xcode Life is a global service provider. The majority of our clients already have DNA or genetic test data from various global genomic companies such as Decode, 23andme, Family tree DNA, Ancestry.com, Genos 2.0, etc. We analyze the data uploaded by our clients and present our reports. For those,who do not have their DNA raw data yet, we provide the DNA test kit and perform DNA analysis at an accredited affiliate laboratory and present the reports.
3How can I avail the test? And how is it done?
Genetic or DNA tests fall under two categories, one- clinical and two-non-clinical. Tests such as Nutrition, Fitness, Allergy, Ancestry come under the non-clinical category and can be ordered by the individuals directly.
Tests such as precision medicine, Health predisposition and clinical tests must be ordered by your physician. If you are ordering these tests from Xcode Life directly, then you must provide a written undertaking that you will have these interpreted by a physician.
The test can be ordered online or at any of our affiliate Medical/Health centers. 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.
4How many days will it take to receive my report?
If you are uploading your data from 23andme, FTDNA and other providers, the results are returned back to you the same day.
If you do not have genetic raw data, it may take up to 3 weeks after tour saliva sample arrives at Xcode.
If you provided your sample as part of a corporate group plan, then the results will be available in less than 10 days.
5 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.
6What 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 incorporate this information in your prescription, health management and treatment plan.
7How are the results for my test arrived at?
The results from your DNA or genetic test are processed through Xcode Life's proprietary algorithms which employ state of the Art Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to arrive at the results. The reports are then subject to our QC procedures, before being released to you.
8If I am in the high risk group, does that mean that I already have the disease?
Genetic predisposition is not predetermination. Your health is a complex interplay between your genetics and your environment. Its possible that a high genetic risk individual may never manifest the condition, if they adopted a lifestyle that compensated for the increased risk. If your results indicate an increased risk, then regular screening by a qualified medical professional will help you assess the status and suggest steps to reduce the risk factors.
9Is it possible to change DNA using medical science?
Yes, technology is being developed to modify our genes, called gene editing. It will have to go through rigorous testing for safety and other aspects before its widely available for human use.
10If 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.
11If I am going to get the disease anyway, what is the use of finding out?
Early detection will help incorporate interventional strategies that could significantly reduce the risk. For example, though Diabetes runs in families, it is not a necessity that a child of diabetic parents must be diabetic. Its absolutely possible for the child to lead a normal, healthy and non-diabetic life. Moreover, advancements in science promise better treatment strategies for most chronic conditions in the near future.
12If new diseases are found to be related to genes, will I be required to take a fresh test?
If you have undergone whole genome sequencing, you do not need to undergo a genetic test again. Any new information can be extracted from the whole genome data. If you have not done whole genome sequencing, there is a possibility that you may have to redo the test again.
13How do I know that the results are accurate?
For the most part our customers bring their own genetic raw data from well established CAP/CLIA certified labs such as LabCorp., Quest Diagnostics, 23andme, FTDNA, ancestry.com among others. For those clients who do not already have the raw data, we process their samples in NABL certified labs with necessary protocols and procedures.
14How 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 cater to your specific needs and requirements. For example, using the precision medicine or pharmacogenetics report, your physician will be able to prescribe the right medication at the right dose for you without having to go through several trials and errors.
15Will I pass on my genetic characteristics to my children?
You will pass on some of your genetic characteristics to your children. Your partner (spouse) will pass on the rest.
16 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.
17How 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
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)
18How 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.