Saturday , May 15 2021

Do-it-yourself genetic tests are here now – with a grip

The scientists at QUEENSLAND have developed a test that reveals the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's, a major breakthrough that should be available to patients as early as next year.

The rapid test would also be able to show patients how a month in the gym, a better diet or dismissal alcohol can change their genetic makeup by disabling disease-causing genes and turning on good ones.

The test, dubbed "laboratory in a drop", uses urine, sputum or blood to detect genes known to cause disease and may be available as early as next year, with scientists hoping to make it accessible so that one day it could be sold in pharmacies.

Oncologist and chief medical officer of XING Technologies – a spin-off of the University of Queensland – Paul Mainwaring said the test has the potential to change and save Australian lives.

"Imagine if your mother had breast cancer and wanted to know what the risk of breast cancer is," he said.

"Now many people are familiar with the BRCA1 gene, but there are other genes that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

"There are other genes that can increase the risk of heart attack

"We may be able to tell you that you do not have a risk for Alzheimer's or a heart attack, but you have a high risk of developing diabetes."

Chief scientific officer and professor UQ Matt Trau said that while the technology was ready to be used at home, it was hard to say when it could be available in pharmacies.

"We live in a time when technology is moving so fast that it's literally at the stage where it can be put in anyone's hands, but the main problem is a regulatory problem," he said.

"This is when it would be appropriate for regulatory requirements and we need to be very careful".

He said the test was different from how people usually think about DNA testing because it's a monitoring technology rather than telling you where you're from.

The Sinnamon Park company recently signed a memorandum of understanding with BGI – based in China – to offer its technology at the forefront of personalized healthcare.

It plans to establish global system production in Brisbane.

"This is an Australian research funded by Australian tax payers that will really change life in Australia," said Dr. Mainwaring.

In addition to revolutionizing the field of personal medicine, dr. Mainwaring said technology could be valuable for poor countries that do not have access to scientists, hospitals and laboratories.

"You could do the tests right there and then," he said.

The dott. Mainwaring said the system uses XING's "laboratory-in-a-drop" technology that could potentially be used to screen and monitor disease in a precise, rapid and cost-effective manner in a variety of applications, including human health, veterinary medicine, and agriculture. , aquaculture and food security.

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