We at CooperGenomics like to stay on top of the latest news in the field of genetics. If you are like us, you can look forward to a bi-weekly Genetics News RoundUp on our blog!

Here are a few articles that caught our eyes this week:

  • A gene based cancer blood test is in the works

Illumina announced the launch of a new company, Grail, to bring a gene-based cancer blood test to market. The idea capitalizes on the existing knowledge that DNA fragments shed by tumor cells, and tumor cells themselves, can circulate in the blood. The test aims to detect mutations associated with cancer in those circulating DNA fragments.

  • What lies beyond A C G T

As genetics has the potential to dramatically alter patient care in the coming years, it’s important to think about assuring that what ensues is truly good patient care.

This GEN article discusses issues we must carefully consider as we dive deeper into precision medicine with the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS), specifically as a diagnostic tool in oncology. The authors cite, pre-analytical handling, (referring to responsible laboratory practice), ethical and legal issues, and interpreting and reporting data as important subjects to continually address.

One big question beyond tackling reporting diagnostic information is how will we tackle the monster of incidental findings?

  • 100,000 Genomes Project brings diagnostic hope to two toddlers

Exciting news of the first diagnoses resulting from the 100,000 Genomes Project in the UK. The project was launched in 2014 with the goal to improve diagnosing and treatment in the realms of cancer and rare disease. Georgia and Jessica, both age four, were diagnosed with rare mutations that were not inherited, in a single gene.

For the two families, a diagnosis means opportunities for treatment and a chance to connect with other couples facing similar challenges. Reaching this point their diagnostic journey has given them hope to continue to grow their family.

  • It’s a sperm… It’s a robot… It’s a spermbot!

Need I say more? You have to see this one for yourself!