Matching DNA With Medical Records To Crack Disease And Aging

A massive research project in California is beginning to show how genes, health habits and the environment can interact to cause diseases.   The project’s goal is to find new ways to identify people at risk before they develop problems like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  100,000 individual members of Kaiser Permanente’s health plan agreed to share their health and genetic information “which has created one of the most powerful research tools on earth”, says Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, which is a partner in the Kaiser project. “It’s just this playground of incredibly rich data,” Blackburn says. “We’re just scratching the surface.”

NPR covers the story here

A light micrograph image of telomeres, shown in yellow, at the end of human chromosomes. Women tend to have longer telomeres than men and tend to outlive men, according to new research matching genetic information with medical records. (Visuals Unlimited/Corbis)

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