Personal genome map solves Calif. teen's illness

By LAURAN NEERGAARD | June 15, 2011 | 4:44 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Researchers are reporting one of the first examples where mapping someone's genetic code led to better treatment.

So-called genome sequencing today is used for research. Scientists look for the causes of diseases that in turn might lead to new drugs or diagnostic tests. But the ultimate goal is what's called personalized medicine — just what happened with 14-year-old Alexis Beery. Doctors couldn't tell what was causing the California girl's breathing problems.

Then scientists at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine discovered a gene flaw. That led to a new prescription that has her back to running track. They reported the research Wednesday.

But scientists still have a lot to learn about those genome maps before it's ready for your doctor's office.