A genetic research company called 23andMe is introducing genetic health research to Nevada. The company wants to use its 1.2 million member genetics database and close a deal with the government in Nevada to expand the research and collaborate.
The aim of the partnership in research is to collaborate with local authorities so scientists can better understand the population health risks. Nevada ranks at 37th place in public health issues. 23andMe offers free access to the 199-dollar saliva test. The first 5,000 citizens in Northern Nevada who qualify for the trial will get a free test.
In return, they will get an ancestry report and health risks and traits. For example, they will be told whether they have any genetic risks for conditions like cystic fibrosis.
Those who volunteer can’t do the saliva test at home. They will have to come to the Renown Medical Center to be trained on how to collect saliva, register and then share their sample. The genetic information will be available later on from 23andMe. It is going to be stored for research reasons at the Desert Research Institute.
23andMe targeted Nevada because it is a diverse area, both socio-economically and ethnically. It also has more generations which belong to the same family – according to a spokesperson.
The first person to take part in this trial is Governor Brian Sandoval. He was also the first Republican to support the Obamacare Act (Affordable Care Act). Sandoval declared that Nevada’s most valuable resource is the people.
The research will lead to the scientific development through genetic health research. This will help citizens to have a bigger role in their personal health.
The governor’s office will support the project financially. Some of the partners involved in the deal are the Renown Health system, the environmental group Desert Research Institute and others. These institutions will also assess the risk for pollution-related diseases, diabetes, and other conditions.
The studies will start with a smaller number of people, but are expected to expand to understand the health risks that confront Nevada’s nearly 3 million residents.
Joseph Grzymski is the main investigator of the study. He pointed out that Nevada wants to overcome the low health rankings and to become a model for advancement in health. The tests will allow for quicker diagnoses and help develop more effective treatments.
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