[Current methods in genetic analysis : an approach for genetics-based preventive medicine].

Modern genetic analysis methods such as DNA arrays (gene chips) or high-throughput DNA sequencing of the next generation (Next Generation Sequencing, NGS) have once again accelerated the pace of innovation that has been powered by genome research over the past 10 years of the “post-genomic era”. The present paper introduces array and NGS methods as two important innovation driving methods and provides examples for their application in large-scale scientific projects. However, a broad application of these very powerful technologies for genetic screening for the purpose of disease prevention is currently not yet in sight. The complexity of the interaction of genes, gene products and the environment has so far exceeded all expectations, suggesting that reliable statements about the medical relevance of common genetic variants can presently only be made in a few areas such as pharmacogenetics and oncology. We also discuss ethical issues raised by genetic population screening. The aim of this paper is to provide a brief outline of the development of methods in molecular genetics to the now dominant modern technologies and present their applications in research, in the diagnosis of rare diseases, and in terms of screening approaches.

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