The conference room at Strand was welcoming, yet formidable. After all, four professionals had gathered to discuss what my Exome sequences were revealing.
Senior scientist Smita Agarwal had power point slides on: “Personal Exome Screening: A Case Study”
That’s the paradox of genomics: it’s intimate and abstract at the same time. For geneticists and computational biologists my DNA sequences amounted to a case; for me, genomics was never more personal.
Before Agarwal could begin, Strand CTO Ramesh Hariharan set the tone and put me at ease. “There’s nothing dramatic [in the DNA],” he assured. Apart from a host of good and bad mutations, I was “the proud owner” of four novel genetic mutations. Unlike many tests being offered in the market today, Strand does not provide disease predisposition reports, except in rare cases where the science is more definitive. In other words, they’d not tell me what my risks for common chronic disorders such as type II diabetes, CVD, arthritis, etc were. It’s hard to predict with a high degree of accuracy anyway because these are multigenic diseases where the science is not well understood.
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