Genomic Medicine: An Educational Resource from Helix Health

The Human Genome Project has heralded a new era in our understanding of the molecular basis of disease. Genome-based medicine or personalized medicine is believed to be the future of healthcare. Indeed, genomic medicine is poised to improve disease diagnosis, therapy and prevention.

Although genomics is related to genetics, there is a difference between the two terms. Genetics is the study of single genes and their effects. In contrast, genomics is the study of all the genes in the genome and the interactions among them and their environment. Genetics uses the information from one or two genes to describe a disease state, whereas genomics examines all genetic information to determine biological markers predisposing a person to disease. Genomics is especially relevant for complex or multifactoral disorders such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and diabetes, which are due to the interaction of multiple genes and environmental factors [1].

Caffeine May Prevent Heart Disease in the Elderly

Habitual intake of caffeinated beverages provides protection against the risk of heart disease mortality among the elderly. The study, published in this months issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that participants 65 years of age or older with higher caffeinated beverage intake exhibited lower relative risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease mortality than did participants with lower caffeinated beverage intake [1].