Aggregated News

gene strands in colorful vials

The cultural, informational, and medical phenomenon that is 23andMe has placed a spotlight on precision medicine, which seeks to personalize medical care to each patient’s unique makeup. Thus far, advances in direct-to-consumer genetic testing have made saliva-sample sequencing services all the rage in this space, but regenerative medicine, which relies on cells and tissues, rather than saliva, now brings us to a new, increasingly complex inflection point.

While collecting and isolating DNA samples from saliva may offer a wealth of information regarding heredity, disease risk, and other outflows of the “instruction manual” for patients, analyzing cells captures the minutiae of patients that goes “beyond the book” and most closely informs pathology. Disease isn’t always “written in the stars” for patients. Epigenetic changes from environmental exposures, cell-to-cell signaling behaviors, and the mutations present in diseased cells all profoundly inform how cells behave in whether and how they code the instructions that DNA offers. These factors are critical to understanding how disease materializes, progresses, and ultimately responds to treatment. This information is highly personal to each patient, and reflects behavioral...