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Clinical research blog

Explore our blog for insights into the big questions in precision medicine and clinical research.

What is patient experience and why does it matter?

Recognising the true value of patient experience is vital for successful studies and future research engagement.

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Different types of DNA testing explained

DNA testing is on the rise, with companies like Ancestry DNA, My Heritage, and 23andme all making direct-to-consumer genetic testing more accessible. But there are a few different kinds of tests out on the market and they all offer different results. If you’re looking into a rare condition, whole genome sequencing might be necessary, but if you’re just looking into your ancestry or for general health insights, exome sequencing is likely to be all you’ll need. Read on to discover the differences between the tests and their uses.

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How genomics is influencing treatment of depression and other mental health conditions

Advances in large-scale genome sequencing, data storage, and analysis, combined with extensive scientific research, are accelerating the development of personalised medicine and disease prevention. These advancements are already helping to improve outcomes for patients with chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease and breast cancer. But one of the most prevalent conditions is depression, a debilitating mental illness ranked by the World Health Organization as the leading cause of worldwide disability which impacts approximately one in six people during their lifetime. In this blog, we explore the latest research in genetic causes of depression, and whether precision medicine in this area is on the horizon.

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The utility of polygenic risk scores

With the exponential growth of genomic data and analysis techniques we are seeing huge breakthroughs in use of polygenic risk scores to predict genetic risk of many common diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The study of genetic risk for common diseases is complex, as many genetic and environmental variants affect the disease risk. But following the success of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in identifying the causal variants associated with the disease, polygenic risk scores (PRS) provide a way of aggregating all the variants carried by an individual into a single risk score.

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The benefits of using genomics in clinical trials

There is huge potential for genomics to improve effectiveness and lower costs in healthcare. The reduction in sequencing costs and the availability of tools to securely store, process, and analyse large-scale data is accelerating research in genomics, and fueling progress. One area within this field with the fastest growth and greatest potential is the incorporation of genetic testing into clinical trials.

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