Skip to comments.A Decade Later, Genetic Map Yields Few New Cures
Posted on 06/12/2010 7:33:55 PM PDT by neverdem
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 Alzheimers 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 genomes 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 Womens 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...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
We be lucky to have an aspirin available in 20years with Obamacare, let alone genome-based individualized treatments.
Oops, looks like the consensus was wrong agitation.
What they hyped up...was their business enterprise. Investment went up and they keep chatting about anticipated results. I’m guessing that they may never show great results...but it really took alot of Government money to prove that.
lies, damn lies, statistics, genome.
Epigenetics is the study of environmental influences on gene expression. For instance: high saturated fat diets switch on gene expression responses. We don’t need to change our genes. We need to change our diets.
It’s so very complicated. Once you change one factor, (high fat diet) there are twelve unanticipated consequences. They’re not always good. Moderation is the key.
Actually I’m not accepting this report as valid, based on the facts in this response. I suffer from a variety of Leukemia that results from a defective chromosome called the Philadelphia Chromosome. This bad chromosome results when a chain of dna breaks and rejoins in an inappropriate manner. The treatment of choice is a cyto drug called Gleevec. It has only been widely accepted and approved for the last 5 to 6 years. However, those in the prior trials have had a muchj improved success rate than prior treatments. Now I understand there are other cyto drugs that have come into play.
Would the drugs be successful if there had been no genetic decoding? Maybe, but I’d bet that they would have taken much longer to develop. Merely understanding the genetic code gives researchers much more insight into just how they can target specific treatments.
My Leukemia is the same version that killed my mother in 1981. It is quite aggressive. She went from diagnosis to death in just under 10 months.
I like to think you’re right, it has speeded things up.
The very best to you.
I have the same version of leukemia; Geevec is in a fact a lifesaver for me. Actually, though, it was approved in 2001 following clinical trials that began in 1995. The story began even further back in the 1960’s, as one research fact lead to another, and another breakthrough.
I have no idea if the lessons learned with this form of leukemia can be applied elsewhere. I do know that at 58 I faced a diagnosis that, 15 years ago, was a death sentence.
This is an interesting article and no surprise to the few of us that understand that the chromosomes are simply the list of ingredients in the cookbook, and do not contain the actual instructions for “baking a cell”, which would contain far more information than contained in the chromosomes if such instructions even existed (which they don’t).
What the press, most people, and even most scientists dont realize is that the bulk of inheritable material received by a newly conceived multi-cell organism (or a single-cell animal created by binary fission) is not the genetic material itself, but the other stuff in the cell. The genetic material itself is little more than CNC-like instructions for stringing together amino acids to make various proteins. The other stuff is the actual factory for processing the instructions, and this other stuff is far more complex and contains far more information than the genetic material itself.
Furthermore, the DNA does not encode the structure of this factory. The factory structure is self-encoding, just like an Itanium CPU chip self-encodes. (By the way, saying something is self-encoding is just a fancy way of saying it is what it is, or simply that it exists.) However, unlike the Itanium CPU chip, there are available to us no external plans for this factory that tells us how to build one. Decoding the DNA is a relatively simple task, just as is the reverse engineering of binary computer code to figure out what it does. However, there is no code to reverse disassemble to determine the structure and function of the cellular factory. This can occur only by tinkering with it one brick and one screw at a time, and represents a task that is thousands of times more difficult than decoding the DNA.
(Note that the only way a new cell receives its new factory is by direct transfer of parts of the old factory, sort of like when you cut an earthworm in half, and each half grows into a whole new earthworm. Or, again using the CPU chip analogy, such replication would be akin to a CPU chip having the ability to grow into two complete CPU chips if the original one was split in half.
Also note that with humans, the male sperm contributes nothing but a set of chromosomes, whereas the mother’s egg provides the complete pattern for the cellular factories in the new human’s cells. Therefore, the mother contributes vastly more information to the new human than does the father. Fundamentally, we are all patterned after our mother in a much deeper fashion than we are patterned after our father.
As a further aside, the cellular factory and its DNA would have had to have been designed together from the very start, and neither one could have been made independently of the other, no more than it would be possible to independently invent the machine code used by an Itanium processor and the processor chip itself, though these two products contain infinitesimally less information than a living cellular factory and its genetic material.)
"The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite."
I'm not for a minute saying that I've concluded genome research is without merit, but I am saying uncritical acceptance of the scientific establishment as a wise and disinterested entity is foolishness. They need to be given the same scrutiny visited upon any other public entity.
Dorland's Medical Dictionary courtesy of Merck
Some excerpts about statins:
The effectiveness of statin therapy for improving the prognosis of patients with CHD is supported by more long-term, high-quality, randomized controlled trial data than is the effectiveness of virtually any other CV treatment.
In contrast, the CV benefits of statins appear quickly, within days to a few weeks after initiation of therapy, possibly owing to their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to stabilize plaque and improve endothelial function.
Vitamin D deficiency is present in approximately 90% of persons who report symptoms of myalgias while receiving statin therapy.135 In a nonrandomized series from our Preventive Cardiology Clinic at the Mid America Heart Institute, about 80% of such patients can be successfully maintained on a statin when their vitamin D level is normalized via a vitamin D supplement.
IMHO, the last link is an excellent review article, even if it seems too long. It also includes informative sections about diabetes and obesity. Don't forget the reference for abbreviations just after the abstract. Save Dorland's Medical Dictionary link to your favorites.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
The truth is it's all a rabbit chase. I am totally disenchanted with traditional medicine. They cut, born and poison cancer patients only to have them die anyway. I do not believe traditional medicine will ever cure cancer. There is no incentive to do so.
.....The effectiveness of statin therapy for improving the prognosis of patients with CHD is supported by more long-term, high-quality, randomized controlled trial data than is the effectiveness of virtually any other CV treatment. ......
Having read tons of your posts, this one is without doubt the best. One can pretty well accept the mayo clinic as an authority to not question. The piece is quite long but extremely meaty. It requires an article tab and a Wickipedia tab to read the known but disremembered terminology.
The article is definitely a reference keeper.
We are sir......indebted for your service to our group.
Other folks get fired for surfin' the web at work. A little later Venter was forced out as president of Celera.Scientist Reveals Genome Secret: It's HimWhen scientists at Celera Genomics announced two years ago that they had decoded the human genome, they said the genetic data came from anonymous donors and presented it as a universal human map. But the scientist who led the effort, Dr. J. Craig Venter, now says that the genome decoded was largely his own. Dr. Venter also says that he started taking fat-lowering drugs after analyzing his genes... [M]embers of Celera's scientific advisory board expressed disappointment that Dr. Venter subverted the anonymous selection process that they had approved... Though the five individuals who contributed to Celera's genome are marked by separate codes, Dr. Venter's is recognizable as the largest contribution. He said he had inherited from one parent the variant gene known as apoE4, which is associated with abnormal fat metabolism and the risk of Alzheimer's, and that he was taking fat-lowering drugs to counteract its effects... Dr. Arthur Caplan, a biomedical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, said, "Any genome intended to be a landmark should be kept anonymous. It should be a map of all us, not of one, and I am disappointed if it is linked to a person."
Scientist Reveals Genome Secret: It's Him
by Nicholas Wade
April 27, 2002
I stumbled into the article by searching vitamin D and myocardial infarction(MI) at PubMed. A vitamin D infomercial with John Cannell, MD mentioned that part of current MI treatment is 100,000 units of vitamin D. I still haven't found it in the literature. Maybe it's an ongoing clinical trial.
Thanks for the ping neverdem.
We have had 2 consecutive days of the Sun here on the Oregon coast.
Nothing like the real thing.
We got a bit red but that heat and V-D was soooo therapudic.
All it took was 10min sessions of baste-ting.
Book marked for later read.
BTW I have controlled BG for years with diet/exercise and the last few months I got ill with horrible community viruses.
My BG went wild. Talk about a jealous devil.
Even uric acid levels went up enough to cause some got.
Was it the potency of the virus/flu or just a reaction to the stress on my body.
God help you.
When one has a life threatning/immediate illness such as yourself ya do pharma and what ever else to get through it alive.
Hope two decades has made break through so you can survive.
Well that is good news.