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Deciding which genes and markers are important, and why

A majority of health conditions and most physical traits have a genetic component i.e. they are influenced by your genes either directly or indirectly. However, we have narrowed down our genetic assessments to chiefly concentrate on three areas of health and wellness:

  1. Disease Genomics
  2. Metabolic/Nutrigenomics
  3. Fitness Genomics

Apart from this, we also have products targeting skin health and pharmacogenomics.

Each of our products includes a comprehensive and well-researched list of genetic markers that have been proved to show significant association with the specific trait or condition being assessed. In this section, we explain the SNP selection process to help you understand better the science behind our various genetic assessment programs.

 

Identification of genetic markers


  • Genes and SNPs whose expression and effect can be improved or counteracted through nutritional and lifestyle changes
  • Genes which play a role (directly or indirectly by regulating other genes which are involved directly) in the underlying biological mechanism/pathway of the disease/condition
  • Specific mutations/SNPs within each of these genes are identified and researched with the help of primarily two types of research studies namely, GWAS, Candidate gene studies.
    • GWAS – Genome-Wide Association Study is done to by randomly screening several thousand SNPs for identification of specific SNPs that are associated with the specific health condition under study.
    • Candidate Gene study – This kind of study focuses on specific genes that have been shown to have a significant role in certain biological pathways implicated in a health condition. SNPs within these genes that show an association with this health condition are identified and the strength of association is determined.
  • Data on the strength of association between various SNPs and health condition, allele frequencies of the SNPs in the tested population, etc, published from the above mentioned research studies are publically available on biological information databases like NCBI, SNPedia, GWAS catalogue, etc.
  • These data are used to shortlist the SNPs to be tested for each condition, based on the following factors:
    • Effect of SNP: Based on its effect on the gene and protein produced, we have included SNPs that:
      • Increase or decrease the expression of gene producing a specific protein/performs a certain function
      • Increase or decrease the expression of gene that controls the production of receptors which affect the function of the protein
    • Statistical significance of association between SNP and condition (threshold value: p <10-6 (GWAS), <0.05 (Candidate Gene studies))
    • Ethnicity: SNPs which have tested to show a positive association with the condition in Indian and/or Caucasian populations (giving preference to Indian population studies)
    • SNPs with two or more replication studies confirming association
  • Testability of SNP and accuracy of allele call/genotype call
  • Scientific evidence (i.e., research publications) are compiled for each marker-health condition and this information is constantly updated in our database.
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James Watson
Xcode is a pioneer in personal genomics, focussed on enabling personalized preventive healthcare. We are dedicated to empowering physicians, wellness professionals and customers with the most validated, accurate and actionable genomic information to positively impact and improve their client's health and quality of life.