DNA tool to assess disease risk from genome analysis

Scientists say they have developed a new DNA tool that uses machine learning to accurately predict people’s height and assess their risk for serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. The tool, or algorithm, builds predictors for human traits such as height, bone density and even the level of education a person might achieve, purely based on one’s genome, according to the research published in the journal Genetics. “While we have validated this tool for these three outcomes, we can now apply this method to predict other complex traits related to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer,” said Stephen Hsu from Michigan State University (MSU) in the U.S. Further applications have the potential to dramatically advance the practice of precision health, which allows physicians to intervene as early as possible, researchers said. The research analysed the complete genetic makeup of nearly 500,000 adults in the U.K. using machine learning. The computer accurately predicted everyone’s height within roughly an inch. While bone density and educational attainment predictors were not as precise, they were accurate enough to identify outlying individuals who were at risk of having very low bone density associated with osteoporosis or were at risk of struggling in school.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sci-tech-and-agri/dna-tool-to-assess-disease-risk-from-genome-analysis/article25147001.ece

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