It’s National DNA Day

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Many people may not know this, but Friday was National DNA Day. It is part of an effort to find and decode all six billion letters in human DNA.

Some researchers at the Mayo Clinic are working to do just that.

The cost of the work is expensive, but not nearly as bad as it once was.

“We already have hundreds of patients at the Mayo Clinic that have benefited from the ability to do this kind of sequencing. So our next step is to make sure that we can continue to extract as much information as possible and make it available for every patient that comes to Mayo Clinic,” said Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

Sequencing the first human genome was $3 billion dollars in 2003. Now it is around $1,500.

That, and less time constraints, has allowed those researchers to cover a lot more ground.

“We’ve moved from the theory of being able to sequence DNA to the practice of embedding it into every patient that comes through the doors of Mayo Clinic. We’re looking at the future and seeing that we can do so to make sure that we’re giving the right drugs at the right dose at the right time,” Farrugia said.

He said this type of work is also able to individualize health care. That allows them to prevent a lot of side effects and even save lives.

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