Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tomorrow in Sciences et Avenir: my journey to my genes, revisited

My dear friend Dominique Leglu presents, in this video clip, the contents of the May issue of the magazine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Luckily, I won't have to decide right away!

23andme anounced yesterday that is it now possible for their clients of European descent to know their Alzheimer's risk. This "diagnosis" includes the detection of a mutation, APOE ε4, known to substantially increase the risk of developping the disease.

Just as was the case with the hereditary breast cancer gene mutations when I received my first results, to see my results I would now have to click again on an opt-in button, signalling my informed consent.

I've long asked myself what I would do when the time came. Would I feel an irresistible urge to know? Being just a click away from the "truth" might turn out to be unbearable... And do I really want to know?

Now the time has come... but not exactly in my case, at least not immediately, because for that to happen I would have to get tested again, with a new kit. My current results are incomplete. I'm so relieved!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cancer world

I learned today that my odds of having a squamous cell carcinoma - the second most common skin cancer, that usually develops on sun-exposed areas, namely on the face and hands - could be substantially higher than average. A study involving 537 persons afflicted by the disease and 1504 healthy controls, all of European descent, was published in Cancer Research , suggesting that a certain point mutation in a gene called IRF4 is associated with this cancer. And since I inherited the risky mutation from both my parents, my risk could be three times higher (2.89 to be exact). I know what I'm going to talk about with my dermatologist next time I see him.