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Age-related disease diagnosis via genes

29th November 2006

The UK's first private gene testing clinic has opened on London's Harley Street.

GeneticHealth is thought to be the first such clinic in Britain; analysing individuals' genetic blueprint in the hope of spotting rogue genes that could lead to the development of inherited conditions.

The service particularly hopes that age-related conditions such as cancer and osteoporosis can be spotted and preventative therapy given.

Genetic profiling is set to be a significant component of the future of medicine and so other clinics seem sure to follow.

"I am convinced that the advent of effective genetic analysis will become increasingly relevant to individuals and clinicians seeking to minimise the burden of age-related diseases," said the clinic's co-founder and chief executive Brian Whitley.

"For the first time we can look at underlying genetic risk alongside lifestyle and environmental influences."

Its opening comes in the wake of the human genome project, which in 2003 gave a comprehensive mapping of all the genes that are responsible for life.