The Genome Odyssey
If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, The Genome Odyssey takes you on the real-life adventure of solving medical mysteries. In his new book, Dr. Euan Ashley, Stanford professor of medicine and genetics, shares his journey of diagnosing rare and unusual medical conditions through the use of genetic sequencing.
In The Genome Odyssey, readers are taken into the world of medicine and introduced to one of medical science’s newest innovations: the genome. While genetic testing isn’t a breakthrough in understanding disease, the use of genome analysis is. Genomes are a specific form of genetic testing. They contain unique codes that can predict an individual’s quality of life and life span.
Solving Medical Mysteries
Within The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Ashley illustrates how he and his team were the first to analyze and interpret a complete human genome and what medical revelations their analyses revealed. Through the use of genome sequencing, Dr. Ashley and his team are able to make quick diagnoses and treatments for many life-threatening diseases. Genome testing helped treat a newborn baby whose heart stopped five times on her first day of life. In addition to treating life-threatening diseases, they have also helped solve mysteries of sudden deaths and test next of kin who may be at risk. Genome sequencing can tell you many things about your current health and future health. It’s interesting that once genome sequencing discovers the problem, the cure can often be found in supplements sold on Amazon.
The Future of Medicine
The Genome Odyssey suggests that as genome sequencing becomes common practice, we can expect personalized medicine and medical treatments. As of now, most physicians have to make educated guesses on how patients are treated based on broad generalizations. But, in the future, the use of genetic sequencing could help personalize medicine.
Dr. Ashley’s book is a fascinating and important read for science enthusiasts, patients, and physicians. It sheds light on how genome sequencing helps solve medical mysteries and create medical miracles. One in fifteen people have rare diseases that take too long to be diagnosed or have yet to be diagnosed. The slow process of a diagnosis means that people are unnecessarily suffering from medical mysteries. The Genome Odyssey seeks to change this by providing invaluable insight into a patient’s health on an individual level.
Though genome sequencing is more accessible and less expensive than it was early on, unfortunately, the cost still doesn’t make it readily available to everyone. And, based on the potential alarming insights it can provide, not everyone wants to know the details of their genome. Personally, after reading Dr. Ashley’s book, I’d jump at the opportunity of having my genome sequenced. As he and his team push for more funding and research, hopefully having your genome sequenced is something that becomes available to any of us who want or need it.
The Genome Odyssey by Dr. Euan Ashley is available for purchase on Amazon on February 23rd.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celadon Books to review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.*