Doctors will soon be able to prescribe medication that exactly matches each individual's own DNA make-up, following the recent  breakthrough that allows scientists to map people's individual genomes. 

Prof James Watson, part of the Cambridge University team of Watson & Crick responsible for first describing the DNA double helix, last week received a DVD of the 3-billion letters making up his own genetic code.
Scientists are hopeful that being able to map an individual's personal genome will help to identify whether they have a propensity for certain conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.
On a more practical level, the personal genome will help healthcare professionals tailor their treatment to ensure patients will get the best results.
Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO of AMD, shared his vision for personalised healthcare during his visit to South Africa this week.
"I believe technology is one of the strong enablers for economic growth worldwide," he says. "An example is the movement towards personalised healthcare."
He cites the simple example of aspirin, which is beneficial for 90% of the population, but causes an adverse reaction in 10%. With access to a personal genome – and the computing power to be able to make sense of it – doctors can determine if their patient is among the allergic 10% before giving the medication.
Chemo-therapy, on the other hand, only benefits 10% of patients, but is adminstered globally in the hope that a patient falls into the group which will respond to it. Ruiz points out that having access to this information beforehand would be of enormous benefit.
"With personalised healthcare, doctors will be able to figure out which medications are best base on the personal genome of the individual. This would be impossible without computing power."