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How do you tell the sex of a chromosome?

22 August 2013

How do you tell the sex of a chromosome?

Take its genes down…

One of my oldest and least funny jokes (apologies); however it is directly relevant to the recent exciting news that researchers in Britain “have set out the first comprehensive map of mutational processes behind the development of tumors - work that should in future lead to better ways to treat and prevent a wide range of cancers”.

Read the full article in today online

Could this mean we are a step closer to leading a revolution in health care as we currently view it?

In addition to the above gene study, the Prime Minister’s pledge in December 2012 to set up ‘Genomics England’, www.genomicsengland.co.uk, a DoH body, which went live in July of this year. It will be sequencing human genomes of as many as 100,000 people to research into the treatment of a number of chronic illnesses, with a goal to drive innovation across systems and healthcare economies.

All this innovation!  I think it represents exciting times; a definite opportunity to empower patients to take control of their health by unlocking the secrets which are currently locked inside their genes. 

This, in my view and experience, is topsy-turvy to the current healthcare system we have in place.  The existing model of NHS care is to provide a service to sick people, not the well people...  If you take a holistic view of the current levels of NHS investment, a large proportion is focused on hospitals – taking care of the sick – not keeping people healthy and preventing them from ever entering hospital in the first place. 

So, the question is: does this present the NHS with an opportunity to predict the future health needs of individuals or determine upstream what preventative treatment is needed? – I think so and it’s  radical…

Recent reports have shown that there are potentially 850,000 undiagnosed diabetics in the UK, of which it is estimated 90% are likely to suffer Type 2 diabetes which is directly linked to unhealthy lifestyles. The NHS is committed to ‘supporting ways of preventing people from developing the condition in the first place’.  The only question missing is ‘How’?

Sarah Lovell, Consultant

Sarah is a Consultant in the Healthcare Practice, read Sarah's profile.


Categories: Healthcare

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