Archive for the ‘deCODEme’ tag
We are very happy to announce today that deCODEme has been awarded the presitigious HONcode certification. This is the oldest and best known system for certifying that information on medical websites is ethically and credibly presented.
HONcode stands for the same principles we do. It conducts a rigorous and dynamic evaluation of how information is presented to users – involving individuals, physicians, and the provider of the service. The goal is to ensure that medically relevant information is presented in a way that enables users to understand what the information is useful for as well as the science upon which it is based. deCODEme provides this information to individual subscribers and, through the deCODEHealth interface, it also enables individuals to share their profile with their doctor and to integrate deCODEme as a component of their personal healthcare strategy.
As we have always said, and as our users know, what sets deCODEme and deCODEHealth apart is the scientific leadership of the team behind the service. These are online services, but we are not a dot-com company. Our services are developed and offered by the same people who over more than a decade have discovered most of the important genetic risk factors we test for. This is our commitment to our subscribers, and to the medical professionals and healthcare systems that are leading the way in employing genetics to deliver the best healthcare for their patients.
So this certification is as much about you as it is about us – congratulations!
The deCODEme Team
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus has been added to the deCODEme Complete Scan. Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by intermittent flares of inflammation in various tissues of the body. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Normally, people produce antibodies that attach themselves to infectious agents when they enter the body and mark them for destruction by the immune system. People who have Lupus produce abnormal antibodies that target tissues within their own body. Lupus can therefore cause inflammation and tissue damage in various organs such as the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and even the nervous system. If you already have a deCODEme Complete Scan you can now log in to see your genetic risk for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. If you want to purchase a genetic test visit the deCODEme store.
deCODEme for “Curious George” – A catalog of published results from the National Human Genome Research Institute
Through your deCODEme account (or the demo account if you are not yet a deCODEme customer) you can access a catalog of published Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) that has been compiled by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
This feature allows you to gain a quick overview of where research on common traits has been showing associations with single nucleotide genetic variations (SNPs). Users can easily select a disease or trait from a list and a feature track with the corresponding SNPs from the catalog will show up in our Genome Browser.
Many of the associations in the GWAS catalog compiled in August 2009 are included in our Health Watch feature. There are also numerous other associations that our scientists have not included, as they do not fulfill the criteria we set for inclusion in our Health Watch.
The GWAS catalog is presented (see here) simply as it appears on the NHGRI web site and has not been reviewed by deCODE’s scientists. The catalog is provided primarily for educational purposes – for the curious George who wants to look at genome-wide association study results in the context of other information that we provide in our Genome Browser.
As a follower of deCodeYou, we wanted to let you know about some important developments in the company and how we believe these will underpin our ability to continue to keep you in the forefront of understanding what the latest advances in genetics mean for you and your health.
For the past several months, deCODE has been working on restructuring its operations. As a result of these efforts, deCODE has entered into and filed concurrently with its Chapter 11 petition announced today an asset purchase agreement under which it would sell its Iceland-based human genetics operation to new owners. This is the subsidiary that conducts our human genetics research, manages our population genetics resources and provides our personal genome scans and DNA-based risk assessment tests. This agreement is subject to a number of contingencies, including a competitive bidding procedure and court approval in accordance with bankruptcy law. It also provides interim financing to enable us to continue operations during the Chapter 11 process, and we have asked the court for the customary authority to continue to provide products and services to our customers without interruption during the bankruptcy process.
Thus you should expect to continue to hear from here on all the latest in human genetics and its relevance to health and healthcare. You can read our press release here.
With best regards,
The deCODEyou team
Chronic Kidney Disease has been added to the deCODEme Complete Scan. Chronic Kidney Disease involves the gradual loss of kidney function over time that can ultimately lead to kidney failure. It typically develops as a result of other common diseases, primarily diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, but not everyone has the same risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease. Research suggests that this disease has a strong familial component.
In the U.S., an estimated 26 million adults have Chronic Kidney Disease, but most of them do not know it. The kidneys have such a remarkable ability to compensate for problems in their function, that there may be no symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease until it has progressed considerably.
Recently, scientists identified a common genetic variant (rs4293393-T), associated with increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease. deCODEme has incorporated these results into the complete genetic scan, which analyzes your DNA and provides you with a personalized risk assessment for Chronic Kidney Disease and about many other diseases, including diabetes, obesity and kidney stones.
Chronic Kidney Disease is a growing problem in the U.S. and in other western parts of the world, Knowing your risk for Chronic Kidney Disease can increase your awareness and empower you to take preventive steps to protect your kidneys.
At deCODEme, we believe that when it comes to planning your preventive health efforts, your genetic profile is the place to start. This month we have added two new diseases, both of which are highly curable if caught early.
If you are a deCODEme customer who has bought our Complete Scan, your account now includes a personalized genetic risk assessment for:
Our scientists have also added more genetic details to the risk assessment for Prostate Cancer, which now includes a total of 25 genetic risk variants for customers of the Complete Scan.
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women. Based on ovarian cancer statistics in the U.S., it is expected that 1.4% of women born today will be diagnosed with cancer of the ovary at some point during their lifetime. This represents the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer and means that 1 out of every 71 women will be diagnosed with this disease during their lifetime. deCODEme Complete Scan now includes risk calculation for Ovarian Cancer.
Last night we announced our discovery of four more SNPs linked to increased risk of prostate cancer. At the same time, academic collagues in the US and UK have also found more SNPs. (See article in TIMES ONLINE) All of the well-validated new risk variants will be incorporated into your deCODEme profile in the days ahead.
In the same study we published yesterday, we also conducted an analysis of all well-validated genetic risk factors discovered to date to establish what percentage of men would be at a significantly higher risk than average using these markers. Based upon our ability to swiftly conduct a population-based analysis in Iceland, this analysis demonstrates that about 4% of men are at more than double average risk based upon these risk factors, while just over 1% are at more than 2.5-times average risk.
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Scientists at deCODE genetics and colleagues from Europe and the United States today report the discovery of a common single-letter variant in the sequence of the human genome (SNP) conferring increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) and stroke. The findings will be integrated directly into the deCODE AF™ reference laboratory test for gauging individual risk of AF and stroke and helping to identify stroke patients who may benefit from enhanced monitoring for AF. The study is published online today in Nature Genetics.
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Through deCODEme™, the world’s first retail genome analysis service, deCODE genetics today announced the launch of the first focused genetic scans for assessing personal risk of several major cardiovascular diseases and common cancers. deCODEme Cardio™, which detects genetic risk factors for Heart Attack, Atrial Fibrillation, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and several other conditions, is offered at an introductory price of $195. deCODEme Cancer measures genetic risk factors for Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Skin Cancer and Colorectal Cancers, as well as the common form of Breast Cancer, at an introductory price of $225. Both can be ordered as a bundle for $350.
As we all know to well, for decades the scales have been tipping in favor of obesity. The epidemic of obesity in many industrialized countries has been driven by many factors, including easy access to fast food, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, insufficient daily physical activity. All of this while our genomes have evolved on a background of scarcity, often putting a premium on the ability of the body to turn food into fat and store energy for leaner times. A paper published today by deCODE scientists and academic colleagues from the US and Europe provide a significant advance in our knowledge of the underlying genetics and biology of obesity, providing new information for understanding and addressing obesity and perhaps nudging the scales the other way.
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deCODE to integrate new genetic risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes into its deCODEme™ Personal Genome Scan Service
Reykjavik, ICELAND, December 8, 2008 – deCODE genetics (Nasdaq:DCGN) today announced the discovery by an international consortium of scientists from deCODE and major European and US academic institutions of a single letter variation in the human genome (SNP) that is associated with increased fasting glucose levels and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). deCODE will employ its CLIA-registered genotyping laboratory and existing testing platform to swiftly integrate the finding into its deCODEme™ personal genome scan, and to assess the addition of this new variant to the company’s deCODE T2™ reference laboratory test for assessing individual risk of type 2 diabetes.
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Pam Bale knows what she wants to get her three children for Christmas. Two of Pam’s children are in their 20s and the other is 30. In other words, a little too old for video games. So they’re not getting a Wii or Guitar Hero. Instead, Pam wants to surprise her kids on December 25th with a genetic test.
“I think the kit would open up all sorts of doors to their future,” says Pam. “They are young adults, and at their ages the test can show them what medical concerns they might face down the road. They are young enough so they can take the steps to avoid those concerns. It would make their whole future happier and healthier and extend their lives. I think it’s a great gift to give to my kids. So don’t tell them. I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”
For the whole interview with Pam Bale go to deCODEme Customer Stories.
After watching her parents and brother suffer with diseases that might have been prevented with the right care, Pam Ayers has become vehemently proactive. She now believes that genetic health scans are the way of the future and early testing could help parents change their own and their children’s life-style for the better. This proud grandmother is taking care of her family.
deCODE staffers were buzzing about Time magazine’s announcement this week of its best invention of 2008: the retail DNA test. As the creators of deCODEme, the first personal genome scan on the market, deCODE staff members were not about to quibble about the date (deCODEme was actually launched on November 16, 2007).
Indeed, the value of deCODE’s capabilities and service is perhaps best demonstrated by the launch of web portals offering similar services based largely upon deCODE’s discoveries, and Time‘s article underscored the potential of this new field by devoting considerable attention to the high-powered tech luminaries who have come chasing deCODEme’s tail.
But what sets deCODE apart from the pack is not that it was the first personal genome analysis service to hit the market, but that it grew out of the biggest and to date most successful effort to discover the genetic factors that increase individual risk of public health challenges like from heart attack and breast cancer. More than a dozen years of large-scale research in human genetics, with the experience of having analyzed the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people, really does count.
The competition clearly feels the weight of deCODE’s advantage, which Time highlighted last year when it named CEO Kari Stefansson to the Time 100 list for the company’s pioneering work in genetics. As Time quotes the founder of a deCODEme competitor: “We could make great discoveries if we just had more information.” Perhaps, but fortunately with deCODEme the public doesn’t have to wait for the dot-commers to bone up on their genetics.
Congratulations again to the deCODEme team!
Tapping the vast resources of deCODEme scientists
The users of deCODEme show great interest in their results and are not afraid to ask questions. deCODEme customer support welcomes all questions and inquiries and taps the vast knowledge base and resources of its research teams to respond to all emails as comprehensively and quickly as possible. Among the more general questions we receive is the following.
“I’m seriously thinking about doing the DNA test. Now I only have to decide from which company. How does your test compare with tests from other companies?”
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A team of scientists, led by Professor Tim Spector of King’s College, London, have been taking a closer look at the genetic coordinates for male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. Male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss in men and one that increases steadily with age. While it has been known for some time that men inherit a tendency for baldness via their x chromosomes from their maternal grandfather, this new research has identified a region on chromosome 20 (20p11) that suggests that a susceptibility for baldness is also inherited directly from one’s father. Read the rest of this entry »
Jack Doughery feels great and wants everyone to know it.
“I almost feel evangelical about my health,” says the 62-year-old businessman from Spokane, Washington. “I’m so excited about what can happen if you do the right things and have the right tools.”
Jack started doing the right things once he began what he calls his journey, which kicked off one day after waking up at three in the morning craving a cigarette.
“When you’re waking up at three in the morning, coughing and spluttering, and the only way to calm down is by smoking a cigarette, you don’t have to be too smart to know this might not be the way to go. It got my attention,” he remembers.
One of Jack’s first stops along his grand trip was at Spokane’s Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Clinic, run by nurse practitioner Amy Doneen. It was Doneen and Dr. Bradley Bale who put Jack on the path to prevention, helping Jack to reshape his life using diagnostic testing, nutrition and exercise.
Recently, Amy Doneen began using a new test to help alter Jack’s journey—deCODEme, a genetic test that scans a patient’s genome for markers relating to 30 various diseases. The deCODEme genetic test gauges a patient’s average and lifetime risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart attack, prostate cancer, and most recently bladder cancer.
deCODE and Radboud University discover common variants in the human genome conferring risk of bladder cancer
Urinary bladder cancer is something many people have never heard of. But it is the sixth most common form of cancer in the United States, and its environmental risk factors include exposure to toxic chemicals, including some used in industrial processing as well as cigarette smoke. Genetic factors also play a role and may help to elucidate how bladder cancer starts and develops.
Today, deCODE’s cancer group and colleagues at Radboud University in the Netherlands report the discovery of two single letter variants (commonly referred to as SNPs) in the human genome that confer increased risk of bladder cancer. Both are common, and 20 percent of people of European descent carry two copies of the highest impact SNP, located on chromosome 8q24. That puts them at about 50 percent higher likelihood of developing bladder cancer than people who do not carry the variant.
By Edward Weinman
With a simple swab from the inside of your cheek, deCODE genetics can scan your DNA, map your markers and assess your risk of developing 29 common diseases. Edward Weinman, self-described hypochondriac, wonders if he should look too closely at his possible future.
Discover magazine reporter Boonsri Dickinson recently tried out deCODEme, as well as two other genetic scans offered by California-based websites. She discusses her results, and talks to several people who question whether genetic scans should be available to the public. Dickinson seems to be happy she had the chance to take a look at her genome, and went over her results with deCODE CEO Kari Stefansson. She notes that as “deCODE is known for discovering genetic risk factors…I decided to use deCODEme to validate the other two,” concluding that “deCODE genetics was authoritative.” Her article, ‘Inside Out: A DNA Diary,’ appeared on newsstands in August and can be found on the Discovermagazine.com website.
In a recent interview Dr. Kari Stefansson, C.E.O. of deCODE genetics talked about the future for genetic tests such as deCODEme and how he believes that they will drive the shift from intervention to prevention in medicine
BBC News Magazine’s Rob Liddle writes about his experience of taking the deCODEme genetic test. Does this new form of diagnosis lead to reduced autonomy or offer greater choice?
A look at deCODE, the biotech company in Iceland that is researching genes for common conditions like heart disease, stroke and cancer. Sue Herera interviews NBC’s Robert Bazell on his coverage of deCODE and discusses the scientific, pharmacological and commercial implications of genetic testing.
Originally broadcast July 22, 2008.
Link: Watch the interview.
NBC chief science correspondent, Robert Bazell, reports on deCODE in Iceland. Iceland is a goldmine of genetic information. where new discoveries in genetic testing may mean a healthier life for the whole world. That Icelanders have an extensive knowledge of their ancestry, says Bazell, has been interesting for history, but now it’s very important for medicine.
A maverick businessman and former White House confidant believes that by collecting enough data about his health, he can live to be ripe, old age.
Jack Grayson wants to live to be 113. Actually, the former head of the U.S. Price Commission under the late President Richard Nixon thinks he might be able to reach 150.
“I want to live longer so I can live forever,” says Dr. Grayson, who now runs the highly successful APQC, a private sector, non-profit organization to help American business, health and education sectors improve productivity and remain globally competitive.
How does the former FBI agent and farmer who taught at both Stanford and Harvard plan to live for a century and a half?
After years of reading meters for the electric company, Cheryl Click won the Texas lottery, retired and purchased a cattle ranch. Now financially secure, Ms. Click is no longer rolling the dice with her health.
By Edward Weinman
Cheryl Click is rich beyond her wildest dreams. In the 1990s, she won the
Texas lottery, pocketing upwards of $27 million. After quitting her job at the electric company, this Texan with a glowing smile cashed in on her dreams and now owns various cattle ranches.
Knowing that her family had a history of heart disease, and wanting to stick around long enough to enjoy her horses and cattle, Ms. Click turned to deCODE genetics for help deciphering what role genetics play in her family’s medical history.
“All my immediate family is gone,” Ms. Click says in her thick Texas drawl. “They died from heart problems. My sister had open-heart surgery, but her heart wasn’t strong enough to support her surgery. My brother had asthma all his life, but his heart quit on him one day. And my mother died of a stroke.”
deCODE genetics welcomes the signing of the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), a bill that, many years in the making, has now been signed by President Bush. GINA will provide a federal counterpart to existing legislation in many states prohibiting discrimination against individuals in matters of employment or healthcare coverage based upon the results of genetic tests or other genetic information.
Scientists from deCODE genetics have identified a clear link between one genetic variant and susceptibility to nicotine dependence and will publish their results in the April 3 issue of Nature. Moreover, in part because of its impact on smoking behavior, each copy of the risk variant of this SNP confers an approximately 30% increase in risk of lung cancer and a 20% increase in risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a common and debilitating constriction of the arteries to the legs.
deCODE scientists came upon the genetic variant by closely examining the genetic makeup of more than 10,000 smokers. They then followed up with an analysis of 32,000 patients and controls from Iceland, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain for lung cancer and PAD, two common diseases strongly associated with smoking.
Kari Stefansson, deCODE CEO, expressed the importance of the discovery: “These findings provide an example of the power of human genetics for shedding light on the most complex health challenges. Not only have we made a convincing link between a single genetic variant and a behavioral disorder – greater smoking quantity and addiction to nicotine – but also demonstrated how this risk factor translates into risk of lung cancer and PAD.”
Stefansson also pointed out that deCODE’s genetic profile service, deCODEme, will test for the gene immediately.
Details of the smoking gene study, which was funded in part by the European Commission, and from the National Institute of Drug Abuse of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, are available at www.nature.com.