What information could whole genome sequencing offer to adult adoptees with no family health history?

That question, among others, was discussed at a genomics and adoption seminar hosted by the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. More than 40 people attended the seminar to learn about whole genome sequencing (WGS) and  what information it could potentially provide that could be used to inform healthcare decisions.

“In the absence of a family health history, genetic information can provide some information about potential disease risks, carrier status, and which medications to prescribe for certain health conditions,” said Kim Strong, PhD, faculty investigator and director of HudsonAlpha’s genomics and ethics program.

“However, it’s important to note that a genetic disease risk is simply that; in most cases, it’s not a crystal ball that portends illness,” she added.

Genetic counselor Kelly East explained the process of WGS, and also noted legal and social considerations.

Adoption advocate and former television news anchor Lee Marshall shared her enthusiasm for the concept.

HudsonAlpha’s inaugural Genomic Medicine Conference, to be held August 8-10 on the HudsonAlpha campus, offers an adoption genomics track for adult adoptees. The Genomic Medicine Conference: Empowering Personal Health, is an interdisciplinary and international program focused on advancing knowledge in the field of genomic medicine in a clinical care setting.  New findings, best practices and challenges in implementation of genomic medicine will be shared during the conference.  Attendees in the adult adoption track will learn more about genomic sequencing and also will have the opportunity to have their genomes sequenced in advance of the conference.

Other tracks include a science and clinician track offering ten hours of education, and a rare disease track for families struggling with rare and undiagnosed or misdiagnosed disease.

“The conference is designed to empower clinicians to deploy genomic medicine, and also to inform patients and families about its potential,”said East.

To learn more or to register, click here.

GenomeWeb, an online news source for genomics, genetics, and life science news, is one of the media partners for the conference.  To receive GenomeWeb news on emerging technologies or other subjects related to the life science industry, click here.

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