NYT+061210+-+A+Decade+Later,+Genetic+Map+Yields+Few+New+Cures

NYT+061210+-+A+Decade+Later,+Genetic+Map+Yields+Few+New+Cures

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Reprints This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any article. Visit www.nytreprints.com for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now. June 12, 2010 By NICHOLAS WADE Ten years after President Bill Clinton announced that the first draft of the human genome was complete, medicine has yet to see any large part of the promised benefits. For biologists, the genome has yielded one insightful surprise after another. But the primary goal of the $3 billion Human Genome Project — to ferret out the genetic roots of common diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and then generate treatments — remains largely elusive. Indeed, after 10 years of effort, geneticists are almost back to square one in knowing where to look for the roots of common disease. One sign of the genome’s limited use for medicine so far was a recent test of genetic predictions for heart disease. A medical team led by Nina P. Paynter of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston collected 101 genetic variants that had been statistically linked to heart disease in various genome- scanning studies. But the variants turned out to have no value in forecasting disease among 19,000 women who had been followed for 12 years. The old-fashioned method of taking a family history was a better guide, Dr. Paynter reported this February in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In announcing on June 26, 2000, that the first draft of the human genome had been achieved, Mr. Clinton said it would “revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.” At a news conference, Francis Collins , then the director of the genome agency at the National Institutes of Health , said that genetic diagnosis of diseases would be accomplished in 10 years and that treatments would start to roll out perhaps five years after that. “Over the longer term, perhaps in another 15 or 20 years,” he added, “you will see a complete transformation in therapeutic medicine.” The pharmaceutical industry has spent billions of dollars to reap genomic secrets and is starting to bring several genome-guided drugs to market. While drug companies continue to pour huge amounts of money into genome research, it has become clear that the
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course MGT 3743 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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NYT+061210+-+A+Decade+Later,+Genetic+Map+Yields+Few+New+Cures

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