In our human genome, there are many elusive genetic variants related to medical conditions, but the impact of these variants to actually cause a disease has not been conclusively determined -- or ruled out.
In other words, the impact certain variants could have on your health remains a guessing game.
But a new study involving the gene-editing tool CRISPR could change that.
The study, published in the journal Circulation on Monday, demonstrates for the first time how pairing CRISPR with induced pluripotent stem cell technology could be used to determine the risk of a genetic variant for cardiovascular disease.
Induced pluripotent stem cells are adult cells, such as skin or blood cells, that have been genetically reprogrammed to be like embryonic stem cells. In general, stem cells have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body.
"Right now the problem is that a lot of people are getting their DNA sequenced and to their surprise it comes back as variants, after variants, after variants -- essentially a whole bunch of variants of uncertain significance...