Everyone has a different reason, or reasons, for getting sequenced.
Although this list could have been much, much longer, we feel that five is a good starting point. Take a look and let us know if your reason is on here.
1. Learn how your genes may interact with certain medications.
How often have you heard from your doctor something to the effect of, "We're going to try you on medication X for two weeks and see what happens?"
What if some of that guessing was eliminated? What if your physician could prescribe already knowing how you were genetically predisposed to react to certain drugs?
That's exactly one of the things that whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides.
One of the most interesting and important parts of your myGenome report is the pharmacogenomics (you can sound it out, or just say "PGx", for short) section. Your genetics play a part in how you react to and metabolize certain medications. This allows your physician to prescribe with confidence and assures that your medicine cabinet has what it needs.
2. Receive actionable insights from your myGenome report.
A big difference between WGS and other technologies on the market – like genotyping used by 23andMe – is the actions you can take once you get your results.
For example, about 1/4 of the population has an "e4" genetic variant in the APOE gene, which increases the chances of getting Alzheimer's 2 to 3 fold. Or, people with a pathogenic variant in the gene MYBPC3 may be at risk of suffering from thickening of the heart muscle. A positive result for one of these genes can be frightening.
The good news is that some of the people with these variants may actually be able to reduce their risk of getting the related disease through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, and through further screening. These are just two examples of hundreds of conditions included in myGenome.
"I got one of those scary results and after the initial shock, I talked with my doctor. She adjusted the vitamins I was taking regularly, and also made recommendations for my lifestyle. I really wish I would have known much earlier."
– Linda, 48, Entrepreneur, San Francisco
3. Know what you may pass on to your kids.
Your genes don't just belong to you. They're part of a story that goes all the way back to the dawn of humanity and will continue through your kids, grandkids and beyond.
Knowing what you may carry in your genes can be important and useful information. For example, if you and your partner carry a pathogenic variant in the CFTR gene, your child has a 1 in 4 chance of getting Cystic Fibrosis. Wouldn't you want to know that? Investing in genomic information potentially benefits everyone who shares your genes. Hear what a couple of our customers have to say about this:
"I'm a big believer in family legacy. Having your whole genome sequenced is like building a generational library of your family's genetics."
– Daniel, 63, San Francisco, Veritas Customer
"Think about it in terms of estate planning - What are you passing along to your kids and grandkids?"
– Kim, 60, New Hampshire, Veritas Customer
4. Have a resource for life.
Sequencing your whole genome is not just a one-time test, it is the beginning of a life-long journey.
From our recent blog post about the differences between technologies:
"By sequencing your whole genome — rather than just a piece of it — you’re getting the ‘master blueprint’, which doesn’t change over time. What does change is how much we understand about the human genome. We can return to your results as science uncovers more about genetics and give you updated information, or if you want to, we can dig deeper in concern areas — such cardiovascular or cancer."
5. Support research.
In addition to empowering you with useful and actionable information, we also believe in supporting important research, and are proud to be contributing to the largest library of human genomic information to date. As our CMO, Rodrigo Martinez, often says, "The more we sequence, the more we learn, the more we sequence."
Our research team has developed the most advanced tools to store, manage, and query genomic data, including the open-source software Arvados. Used by researchers globally, the Arvados Federation holds close to 20 Petabytes of genomic data. Veritas co-founder and genetics pioneer Dr. George Church, puts it this way: “There are very few companies in the world that have the expertise and experience of more than a decade in aggregating genomic data and enabling machine learning."
We believe it's possible to contribute to global genetic progress while still holding your personal genetic data securely and safely. WGS can unlock many opportunities for you right now, and, hopefully, even more opportunities for all of us in the future.
This is just the tip of the genomic iceberg! Explore further and find your reason to get sequenced.