Functional Genomics

Functional Genomics is the study of genes as they exist in biologic systems. It is the study of genes, and how they interact with each other, to accomplish the myriad of cellular pathways that define cellular functions, that in turn, define function at the organism level. If better clinical trials are to be designed – so as to derive meaningful data and more astute conclusions – by necessity, a functional genomics approach must be incorporated.

The DNA Company’s genomic assays are functional genomic assays. They are designed to explain and elucidate what is happening in the human body. This is a stark contrast to the more common gene tests that generate single gene ‘factoids’ with little relevance to actual human form and function, and therefore have little true clinical value.

All DNA Company genomic assays are designed via a 3-step approach:

1. The Biologic System to be studied is identified. This is different from simply studying markers of symptoms. For example, current standard approaches to assessing cardiovascular function would monitor measurables such as blood lipid levels, glucose levels, heart rate, etc. A biologic systems-based approach to cardiovascular function would certainly include the aforementioned but would also start with, but not be confined to:

a. What are the parameters that govern vascular function...literally, what are the factors that influence the form and function of a person’s blood vessels? After all, the vasculature/blood vessels are the very basis of the cardiovascular system (CVS) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) almost always begins with vascular dysfunction

b. What are the parameters that influence the ‘quality’ of the blood in the person being studied? This is a critical point that is so often missed. A combination of a person’s nutrition, lifestyle, environment, medication history and genetics, radically influences the metabolites circulating in the blood of that individual, and in turn, radically contributes to the long-term health or chronic disease of the vascular system.

2. As per the above, the biologic system is storyboarded. That is, a detailed as possible map of the biochemical or metabolic pathways that influence the biologic system being studied is created. It entails exactly what the name implies. Getting to a white board and mapping out all of the interconnected considerations that impinge upon the biologic system being studied

3. Lastly, a genetic map/route which drives the biochemical/metabolic pathway is pencilled] in or overlaid on to the story board. In this manner, the genes that are ultimately chosen for the DNA Company’s assays tell a cohesive and meaningful story of the genetic predisposition of the individual (as it relates to the biologic system that is being studied)

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