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Mitochondrial and nuclear genomics and the emergence of personalized medicine

Ryan L Parr* and Luis H Martin

Author Affiliations

Mitomics Inc, Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7A 7T1, Canada

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Human Genomics 2012, 6:3  doi:10.1186/1479-7364-6-3

Published: 5 July 2012


Developing early detection biosensors for disease has been the long‒held goal of the Human Genome Project, but with little success. Conversely, the biological properties of the mitochondrion coupled with the relative simplicity of the mitochondrial genome give this organelle extraordinary functionality as a biosensor and places the field of mitochondrial genomics in a position of strategic advantage to launch significant advances in personalized medicine. Numerous factors make the mitochondrion organelle uniquely suited to be an early detection biosensor with applications in oncology as well as many other aspects of human health and disease. Early detection of disease translates into more effective, less expensive treatments for disease and overall better prognoses for those at greater risk for developing diseases.

Mitochondrial genomics; Mitogenome; Genomic deletions; Cancerization field; Biosensor; Heteroplasmy