Doctor's Self-Experiments Pioneer Personalized Medicine

A Stanford genetics professor who subjected his genes to a Truman Show of medical tests, taking regular blood samples over two-and-a-half years, may pioneer personalized medicine. 

What's the Latest Development?


Over two-and-a-half years, Stanford genetics professor Michael Snyder tracked the movement of 40,000 different molecules within his body's cells, from hormones to blood sugar. The DNA tests revealed that Snyder had a genetic predisposition to type-2 diabetes even though his doctor observed no outward symptoms of the disease. But armed with a battery of medical metrics, Snyder watched as his genes changed and he developed diabetes, blaming a nasty cold which, putting stress on his immune system, could have unmasked underlying vulnerabilities. 

What's the Big Idea?

Snyder's experiment was not inexpensive. Over the years he took blood samples, extracting the molecular data from each one cost about $2,500, not to mention the price of the elaborate medical equipment needed to perform the analysis. But experts are hopeful that, as the price of genetic screening continues to drop, a new era of personalized medicine will allow scientists to "analyze a full range of molecular information at birth and then again every six months to catch medical warning flags and make lifestyle or medication changes before problems develop."

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

10 science photos that made history and changed minds

These photos of scientific heroes and accomplishments inspire awe and curiosity.

Surprising Science
  • Science has given humanity an incalculable boost over the recent centuries, changing our lives in ways both awe-inspiring and humbling.
  • Fortunately, photography, a scientific feat in and of itself, has recorded some of the most important events, people and discoveries in science, allowing us unprecedented insight and expanding our view of the world.
  • Here are some of the most important scientific photos of history:
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less