Clinical OMICS

NOV-DEC 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 6 of 51 November/December 2018 Clinical OMICs 5 Algorithm IDs Biomarkers of Sleepy Drivers Scientists from the Sleep Research Cen- tre at the University of Surrey, England, have used a machine learning algorithm to identify a subset of 68 genes to de- tect, with 92% accuracy, whether a blood sample was from a sleep-deprived or well-rested individual. "Acute and chronic insufficient sleep are associated with adverse health outcomes and risk of accidents. There is, therefore, a need for biomarkers to monitor sleep debt status," the researchers wrote in the journal Sleep. The discovery paves the way for a future test which will be able to assess if a driver was sleep deprived. Previous research in this area from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shown that drivers who get just one to two hours of sleep less than the recommended daily allowance in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a car crash. n Color Test adds PGx Markers for Antidepressants Consumer genetic testing company Color Genomics recently bolstered the menu of its Color Extended genetic testing kit to include pharmacogenomics (PGx) mark- ers that indicate how a particular person might respond to commonly prescribed antidepressant medications. The test, which sells for $199, already screens for the risk of developing certain cancers and forms of heart disease. According to the company, which states its mission as "democratizing ac- cess to genetic testing," the test will now include analysis of two genes that aid doctors in making decisions about the prescribing of antidepressant medica- tions Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro. The genes are the first of many Color says it will add for PGx advice, which will include medica- tions for heart disease, pain, and others. n Three Genetic Variants Linked to Chronic Back Pain A Genome-wide meta-analysis of 158,025 people of Euro- pean descent, including 29,531 with chronic back pain (CBP) has identified three novel genetic variants as- sociated with CBP. The research, published in PLOS Genetics, links the risk of developing back pain with the three variants found in genes that control skeletal development. "The results of our genome-wide association study point to multiple pathways that may influ- ence risk for chronic back pain," said Pradeep Suri, M.D., of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Se- attle. "Chronic back pain is linked to changes in mood, and the role of the central nervous system in the transition from acute to chronic back pain is well recognized. How- ever, the top two genetic variants we identified suggest causes impli- cating the peripheral structures, such as the spine." n Ivan-balvan / Getty Images Yuri_Arcurs / Getty Images Mladen Zivkovic / Getty Images

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