Medical schools need to prepare doctors for revolutionary advances in genetics

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Sumary of Medical schools need to prepare doctors for revolutionary advances in genetics:

  • Since the disease-causing variants generally occurred — with some exception — in low frequency, these diseases did not occupy the mainstream concern of the medical profession..
  • Medical schools need to do a lot better preparing future physicians and health professionals if the dreams of personalized medicine are to be realized..
  • Personalizing medicine Personalized medicine means treating patients based on the individual characteristics of their DNA..
  • Family physicians will have increasing access to data and more detailed genetic information about their patients..
  • Disease-causing mutations at different locations on a gene would be identified, and an overall personalized risk score would be calculated that would tell the individual his or her chances of developing that disease..
  • The letdown came when genomic studies showed that genes affecting complex diseases were potentially large in number and individually of small effect, and worse still, only a small number of all potential genes affecting a given disease could be identified..
  • Even more problematic, it turned out that all individuals sharing the same risk factor for a given disease did not develop the disease..
  • This creates a problem for predictive medicine if scientists cannot link a disease to a gene with any certainty..
  • Our work in population genetics and evolutionary genomics relates to how these characteristics are calculated and combined into an overall score used in predictive medicine..
  • We also study variation and evolution of sex and reproduction related genes and their role in the evolution of sexual dimorphism in complex diseases and mental disorders..
  • First, we showed that because of the blind nature of evolutionary forces and the role of chance in evolution in humans, many combinations of genes can lead to the same disease..
  • This would explain, for example, why some women with breast cancer genes develop breast or ovarian cancer and some do not..
  • Male-benefitting mutations harmful to females would trigger a female-driven response leading to the evolution of increased female immunity, and possibly evolution of higher thresholds for complex diseases and mental disorders….

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