The Future: Personalized Medicine by Barbara Ebel, M.D.


Like a sci-fi idea which once seemed improbable about a space station, medicine is on the verge of making a futuristic concept a reality!

After you eliminate the amino acid exact sequences common to all of us, our DNA is as personal and unique to each of us as our fingerprints. You may be aware that modern science in the last few years can map out an individual’s complete DNA sequence (genome). All our inheritable traits, our full set of chromosomes, can be mapped out like a secret code! If you haven’t heard of such a thing, one reason is because it has been cost prohibitive. At over $20,000, who would contemplate getting their genome mapped?


So here’s the magnificent news. In the near future this cost is predicted to go down to as little as $1,000 (1). That may be a large enough bill, but as I’ll explain, it’ll be worth the cost.

First, why is the knowledge of your genome important? It is anticipated that it will lay down the groundwork for your own personalized medical care. It may predict potential problems based on what is already known about genomic date and may predict your susceptibility to certain diseases. Care can be individualized and optimized; health care will turn into “Personalized Health Care.”


I’ll use my career specialty as an example. Even though most patients react to a certain anesthetic agent in a predictable manner, there may be a few patients who have an adverse reaction due to a slight difference in their genetic makeup. Finding this out by genetic mapping could alert an anesthesiologist to that possibility allowing her or him to alter and make wiser anesthetic choices for that particular patient.

Once done, someone’s genetic sequencing will be that person’s blueprint for life, making it a cost saving. Average daily hospital costs in the US are over $4,000. (2) If genetic information prevents even one adverse event, preventing one day’s hospitalization, the cost savings are substantial!

I hope we all see genetic blueprinting become an affordable and accessible reality in the near future. It’s pretty exciting what lies ahead!

I hope you enjoyed my bi-monthly health blog.

For more health pearls, check out my book Younger Next Decade. And my novel, Silent Fear: a Medical Mystery, just published in March, is finding much success with readers and has continued to rank in the top twenty of two bestseller categories in Amazon’s Kindle’s store (such as mystery >thriller >suspense >medical). Check it out!

SF by BE EBook 200x300          http://amzn.to/1fTlicS


This recipe sounded delicious, healthy, and easy to make. I prepared it this week and can vouch for it!

2 lb. Chicken tenderloin chunks
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
Combine all together, cook on low in Crock-pot 6-8 hours…that’s it! Done! Serve with brown rice and you have a complete, easy meal!!

(1) Young S. Does Illumina have the first $1,000 genome? MIT Technology Review website.
(2) International Federation of Health Plans 2012 comparative price report. International Federation of Health Plans website.


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